March 5 (UPI) — Media reported that many technology companies have asked their employees in Seattle to work from home to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. Both Amazon and Facebook have closed their Seattle offices after local employees were confirmed infected.
The outbreak continues to spread in many areas of the United States, including California and New York, and Washington state has worsened. The state is home to the first cases in the U.S. mainland, with at least 70 confirmed cases and 10 deaths.
Here’s a summary of home office policies for some of the technology companies’ Seattle offices:
Amazon has reportedly issued notices to employees in Seattle and nearby Bellevue to advise them to be home-based until the end of March. Amazon confirmed on March 2 that an employee in Seattle had been quarantined for contracting the new corona virus. The employee left the company on February 25th and has not returned since.
Google requires qualified employees in Washington state to work remotely, GeekWire reported. The company also asked employees not to bring outside visitors to the company’s Washington office.
Facebook reportedly closed one of its Seattle offices after an outsourcer tested positive for the virus, while encouraging the company’s 5,000 Seattle employees to work from home by March 31. It is reported that the office will remain closed until next Monday. Facebook also restricts access to its offices by outside visitors.
Microsoft will allow employees from its Seattle and San Francisco offices to work from home until March 25.
Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, said the company “strongly encourages” all employees to work from home as much as possible. He said he also advised Square employees to do the same. Dorsey also serves as chief executive of the mobile payments start-up.
Bungie, the developer of the popular game Destiny 2, has asked staff at its Bellevue, Washington, office, to work from home and says it has put in place infrastructure to allow the company to continue developing Destiny 2 while it is fully remote.
At present, the global total number of confirmed cases of new coronary pneumonia more than 97,000 cases, has caused more than 3,300 deaths.