Facebook closes Seattle office after contractor catches coronavirus


FILE PHOTO: A Facebook logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Thursday a contractor at its Seattle office has been diagnosed with the coronavirus and that it would shut the location through March 9.

“A contractor based in our Stadium East office has been diagnosed with the COVID-19,” a company spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

Seattle in Washington state was most affected by the virus in the United States. The number of cases in the city rose to 39 and deaths to 10 on Wednesday, up from 27 cases and nine deaths a day earlier, the Washington State Health Department said here

Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) followed Facebook and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) in recommending Seattle employees to work from home through the end of the month, after one of Amazon’s employees tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday.

The Amazon employee worked at the South Lake Union office complex in Seattle. Two other employees of the company in Milan, Italy, were also been infected with the virus.

Microsoft said on Wednesday that some “essential” employees should continue to go to their work locations and that the company would follow government guidelines for disinfecting its sites for essential personnel.

The news of the Facebook contractor being diagnosed with the coronavirus was first reported by Bloomberg.

Reporting by Bhargav Acharya and Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Bernard Orr and Shinjini Ganguli


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