The world’s biggest social network is restricting social visits to its physical offices, as Facebook tries to protect its employees from coronavirus exposure, Business Insider reports.
A Facebook spokesperson tells The Verge that the company, which has offices in 35 countries, is “taking steps to reduce the risk to our employees from the emerging COVID-19 situation, including temporarily halting social visitors to all of our offices.” Facebook will continue to allow people to visit its offices for business purposes, and it will be conducting job interviews mostly via video conferencing in the near term.
Late last month, Facebook announced it was canceling the in-person portion of its annual F8 developer conference over coronavirus concerns. F8 was originally scheduled to take place on May 5th and May 6th, but will be replaced with “locally hosted events, videos and live-streamed content.” The company also halted new orders for its latest Oculus Quest VR headset. “[Like] other companies we’re expecting some additional impact to our hardware production due to the coronavirus,” Facebook-owned Oculus said in a statement February 7th.
Other tech giants are taking steps to try to protect workers from the coronavirus outbreak; Google, Amazon, and Twitter have placed restrictions on employee travel, and like Facebook, Amazon is holding job interviews via video conferencing instead of in person.
COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has infected more than 89,000 people around the world since its discovery in December. More than 3,000 people have died from the disease, including six people in Washington state just in the past few days.