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Employees of Major Tech Companies Asked to Stay Home Over Growing Coronavirus Threat

By Danny Vena - Mar 5, 2020 at 11:52AM

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Big tech is scrambling to help slow the spread of the epidemic.

As the outbreak of COVID-19 illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus continues its mad dash across the globe, a growing list of the world's biggest technology companies are asking employees to work from home in an effort to stem the tide of the global health crisis.

E-commerce giant (AMZN -5.14%) is "recommending that employees in Seattle [and] Bellevue who are able to work from home do so through the end of the month," the company said in a statement. The move comes after one of its employees in Seattle tested positive for the disease. 

A microscopic image of the coronavirus.

Image source: Getty Images.

Social media kingpin Facebook (META -5.20%) issued a similar advisory and closed one of its facilities for the remainder of the week after one of its contractors in Seattle contracted the virus. "We've notified our employees and are following the advice of public health officials to prioritize everyone's health and safety," the company noted. 

In a blog post to employees yesterday, tech giant Microsoft (MSFT -3.17%) executive vice president of corporate strategy and operations Kurt DelBene said following a health advisory from King County, Washington, "We are recommending all employees [in the Puget Sound and Bay Area] who are in a job that can be done from home should do so through March 25th." 

In a post on Twitter (TWTR -1.02%), CEO Jack Dorsey -- who also serves as chief executive for Square (SQ -5.52%) -- said that both companies were "strongly encouraging all of our employees globally to work from home if able." Twitter also imposed mandatory restrictions for employees in Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea offices, who will be required to work from home. 

To date, the number of coronavirus cases has risen to nearly 97,000 and resulted in more than 3,300 fatalities worldwide, with most occurring in China. 

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Meta Platforms, Inc.
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Twitter, Inc.
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