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Tech companies in Seattle are telling employees to work from home due to coronavirus fears

Facebook, Google, Microsoft and more have already made announcements.

facebook offices in seattle amid coronavirus concerns
Image: Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times

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The Seattle area is getting hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, with many tech companies in the area telling their employees to work from home.

Amazon and Facebook both have confirmed cases of employees being infected, but even firms without cases are closing their office blocks. While it might be tempting to spend that time out of the office and instead somewhere public, just don’t. Don’t work from your local coffee house if you get told to work from home, stay home as the risk of contracting the novel coronavirus increases anywhere there are gatherings of people.

Currently, Washington state has 70 confirmed cases and 10 deaths, with a mortality rate higher than anywhere else so far.

Here’s the current list of Seattle tech companies enforcing work from home policies due to the coronavirus:

  • Amazon: Employees in Seattle and Bellevue have been told to work from home until the end of March after one of its Seattle-based employees was quarantined with the novel coronavirus
  • Facebook: One of the companies contractors in Seattle was positively tested for the virus, and all of its 5,000 Seattle-based staff are under “encouragement” to work from home until the end of March. Visitors have also been limited to any of its offices in the city
  • Google: All employees in Washington state who can work from home have been asked to do so, and have also asked staff to not bring any visitors to any offices
  • Microsoft: All employees in its Seattle and San Francisco offices have been allowed to work from home until March 25
  • Twitter (and Square): CEO Jack Dorsey has “strongly encouraged” all of its employees to work from home if able
  • Bungie: The Destiny 2 developer has asked all of its Bellevue staff to work from home and put infrastructure in place so the development of the game can be continued while fully remote

Stay safe out there everyone, and wash your damn hands.

What do you think? Surprised to see companies taking these proactive stances on the coronavirus? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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