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Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are asking Seattle-based staff to work from home because of coronavirus

Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are asking Seattle-based staff to work from home because of coronavirus


Amazon and Facebook have shut down individual offices as well

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Numerous tech companies have asked their Seattle-based employees to work from home to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Both Amazon and Facebook have shut down offices in the area after confirming that their Seattle-based employees have indeed contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

As the outbreak continues to spread in the US, including in California and New York, the situation has worsened in Washington where the virus was first discovered Stateside. The state now has at least 70 confirmed cases and 10 deaths.

Here are the work-from-home policies for some Seattle tech company offices that The Verge is aware of:

  • Amazon has told employees based in Seattle and nearby Bellevue that it recommends employees work from home until the end of March, according to CNBC. The recommendation comes after Amazon confirmed on March 2nd that one of its Seattle-based employees was quarantined with the novel coronavirus. That employee left work on February 25th and hasn’t returned.
  • Google is asking employees in Washington state who have the ability to work remotely to do so, reports GeekWire. It’s also asking employees not to bring visitors to its Washington-based offices.
  • Facebook has shut down one of its Seattle offices after a contractor tested positive for novel coronavirus, and it’s encouraging the company’s 5,000 Seattle-based employees to work from home until March 31st, according to CNBC. That office will reportedly remain closed until Monday. Facebook has also restricted social visitors to its offices.
  • Microsoft is allowing employees in its Seattle- and San Francisco-based offices to work from home through March 25th.
  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the company is “strongly encouraging” all of its employees to work from home “if able.” He said the same guidance applies to Square, which he also leads. On Friday, March 6th, Twitter said a Seattle-based employee “has been advised by their doctor that they likely have COVID-19” though is still awaiting final testing. The employee hasn’t been in a Twitter office in several weeks, the company says, but it is closing the Seattle office “to deep clean” as a precaution.
  • Bungie, which makes the popular game Destiny 2, has asked employees of its Bellevue, Washington office to work from home and says it has rolled out infrastructure to let the company continue to develop the game while fully remote.
  • Nintendo will let its Nintendo of America staff in Washington and California work from home, according to a statement given to Kotaku.

There are currently over 101,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 3,400 deaths.

Update March 6th, 5:20PM ET: Added information about a Seattle-based Twitter employee likely having COVID-19.