With the global coronavirus outbreak showing no sign of stopping, many companies around the world are asking employees who can work remotely to do so. Pfizer (PFE 0.64%) just made it mandatory for all "customer-facing" employees in the U.S. to work remotely and avoid in-person contact to reduce the chance of COVID-19 spreading.

The pharmaceutical giant said in a note to workers that employee safety is the top priority for the company, CNBC reported. Pfizer employs more than 88,000 workers globally but it's unclear how many are impacted by this policy.

A man waves on a business video conference

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"We are asking that you cease in-person engagement and use virtual customer tools where possible. This decision has been made out of an abundance of caution, with the aim to mitigate the risk of exposure to the virus for colleagues and our community," said Pfizer's leadership. Pfizer also announced its five-point plan to help fight against COVID-19 on Friday, while confirming it's developing a potential antiviral treatment and vaccine candidates.

An ongoing trend

Companies are doing everything in their power to prevent the COVID-19 outbreak from worsening. Alphabet's (GOOGL 0.24%) (GOOG 0.28%) Google told employees across North America to work remotely if they can. AT&T (T 0.49%) made a similar announcement on Friday.

President Donald Trump held a much-anticipated press conference Friday afternoon about COVID-19 in the U.S. He formally declared a state of national emergency, a move that allows American states and municipalities to access billions of dollars of additional funding to support COVID-19 prevention efforts.