'Standard' Maintenance at Belfast Apple Store Sparks Coronavirus Panic

A video showing three maintenance workers wearing hazmat suits at an Apple store in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on March 3 sparked unfounded concerns about the local risk of the new coronavirus.

The video, captured by Gary Young, was shared on Twitter with the hashtags #Covid_19 and #coronavirus, and quickly went viral. Young told Storyful he was “shocked” to see the crew in protective clothing. In less than a day his footage had been viewed more than 90,000 times.

However, the Irish Sun quoted representatives for Apple who said that the workers were performing “standard furniture restoration that takes place on a regular basis.”

The Apple-focused site iMore.com said Apple stores regularly sand and refinish their tables “to make sure they always look like new.”

A second case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Ireland on March 4, according to public broadcaster RTE. Credit: Gary Young via Storyful