Due to a sharp rise in positive COVID-19 cases in California, Apple announced a temporary shut down of 53 of its west coast locations.

The tech giant said Saturday that its plans to close locations in an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus, which has hit a record number of infections. 

“Due to current Covid-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas,” an Apple spokesperson wrote to CNBC in an email. 

“We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible.”

Although locations in California are closed, customers can still buy products and receive technical support on the company’s website.

Those with existing orders will still be able to pick up their products at the designated store, and the Genius Bar will fulfill existing device repairs.

Over the last few weeks, California has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. More than 1.8 million positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in the state with over 22,000 deaths. 

Following major statewide shutdowns across the US, Apple has reopened more than 270 U.S. locations over the recent weeks, Bloomberg reports.

However, upon reopening, several new restrictions were in place with most locations seeing customers by appointment only. 

The company has turned many of its locations to “Express” stores, which have a set up similar to a bank line in which customers pick up devices that were sent out for repairs and purchase products.

Apple has not revealed when its locations in California will reopen.

Apple is adding labels to its apps so that users can easily see and understand what those programs do with their data Apple is adding labels to its apps so that users can easily see and understand what those programs do with their data Photo: AFP / Alastair Pike