Facebook employee in Seattle diagnosed with coronavirus, as 39 infected in region

By | March 5, 2020

A Facebook employee who worked in the company’s Seattle office has been diagnosed with coronavirus, as the death toll in the state on Wednesday climbed to 10.

Facebook and other tech giants took measures to protect their workers. Facebook alerted employees about the contractor who was last in their Stadium East office on Feb. 21.  The office will be closed until March 9. Employees of the social media company are encouraged to work from home until the end of the month due to coronavirus fears.

“We’ve notified our employees and are following the advice of public health officials to prioritize everyone’s health and safety,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

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Microsoft is also taking steps to protect its roughly 50,000 employees in the Seattle area from the new coronavirus, which has infected at least 39 people in the region — considered the epicenter for the outbreak in the U.S.

The tech company advised all employees in the Seattle and California Bay areas to work from home until March 25 in accordance with guidance from local health officials.

They also recommended people to postpone travel to their Bay area campuses “unless essential for the continuity of Microsoft,” while telling employees that all non-essential business travel should be canceled in regions with active COVID-19.

“Taking these measures will ensure your safety and also make the workplace safer for those that need to be onsite. Please let your manager know that you will be working from home, so all our teams remain well-coordinated,” Microsoft Chief Digital Officer Kurt DelBene said in a statement on Wednesday.

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An Amazon employee who works in the company’s “Brazil” office in Seattle tested positive for the coronavirus, according to an internal email on Tuesday. The employee left work on Feb. 24 due to an illness, which the company was later informed was COVID-19.

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“We’re supporting the affected employee who is in quarantine,” an Amazon spokesperson told Fox News.

The company said it would limit non-essential travel within the U.S. and cancel warehouse tours,” according to Bloomberg. Job interviews are being conducted online vs “face-to-face.”

They asked employees who are experiencing symptoms to stay home and the company is conducting deep cleaning and sanitizing in the office.

(Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. (Credit: Amazon))

Two Amazon employees in Italy were previously confirmed to have the virus.

Most of those who died in Washington state were residents of Life Care Center, a nursing home in a suburb east of Seattle. Researchers say the virus may have been circulating undetected for weeks.

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Federal authorities are investigating the home to figure out what happened and determine if it followed guidelines for preventing infections.

Fox News’ Madeline Farber and the Associated Press contributed to this report


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