Samsung temporarily shuts down phone factory following coronavirus case

The virus outbreak is cutting a little too close to home.

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Chris Velazco/Engadget
Chris Velazco/Engadget

Samsung's coronavirus problems extend beyond people steering clear of phone stores. The company has closed a phone factory in Gumi, South Korea until February 24th after confirming that a factory worker was infected with COVID-19. The company told the worker's associates to self-quarantine and will test them for the virus, and will also keep the relevant floor closed until the 25th.

Chip and display factories across South Korea aren't affected, Samsung said. Gumi isn't far from Daegu, the heart of the current outbreak in the country.

The Gumi plant makes higher-end handsets primarily destined for the South Korean market, but they include foldable phones like the Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Fold. That could pose problems given already limited stock -- while it's not a devastating blow, even a few days without production could lead to shortages and dampen the Z Flip's launch.

Samsung isn't alone in facing coronavirus-related supply issues. Apple has warned of iPhone shortages after a temporary halt to production, while Valve expects a shortfall of Index VR headsets due to production stoppages. Few are directly the result of infections, though, and this is a blunt reminder that the risk to the tech industry extends beyond China.

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