Verizon closing some retail stores to slow spread of coronavirus

The carrier is the latest to respond to the pandemic by shuttering its doors.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr

The phone carrier said it also anticipates increases in traffic.

Angela Lang/CNET

Verizon will close some of its retail stores across the country, following increased concerns about the spread of the pandemic coronavirus throughout the country.

The company said retail employees will begin to work from home, helping customers online and through the phone. Verizon didn't respond to a request for comment on how many stores would be closed or where.

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The carrier said it anticipates increased network traffic and thus has eliminated late fees and bandwidth caps so people can manage being sent home by their employers and schools.

Verizon's moves mark the latest effort by one of the country's largest companies to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. Apple late on Friday said it was closing all its stores outside China until March 27, and pushed its Worldwide Developers Conference online-only. Other companies, like the internet giants Facebook and Google, have canceled their respective developer events, which were planned for the spring. Large organizations too have scuttled their plans, including the annual SXSW music and tech festival in Texas, the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Even Disneyland shut down.

"We know this is a difficult time," Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said in a letter posted to the company's website Saturday. "We will continue to address these and other critical pandemic issues impacting our employees, customers and society."

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