Twitter announced today it will close its Seattle office completely after an employee was told by their doctor “that they likely have” the coronavirus.
The Seattle-based employee is not a confirmed coronavirus case, but they are awaiting final testing.
“While the employee has not been at a Twitter office for several weeks & hasn’t been in contact with others – we’re closing our Seattle office to deep clean,” Twitter’s communication staff tweeted March 6.
A Seattle-based employee has been advised by their doctor that they likely have COVID-19, though still awaiting final testing. While the employee has not been at a Twitter office for several weeks & hasn't been in contact w/others – we’re closing our Seattle office to deep clean.
— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) March 6, 2020
Twitter did not note when the Seattle office would reopen. The San Francisco-based social media firm said it “contacted the appropriate health officials” and is “coordinating appropriately to protect everyone’s health and safety.”
Twitter began asking its employees March 2 to avoid coming into the office when possible. Chief Human Resources Officer Jennifer Christie said the company was directing its roughly 5,000 employees to work from home. “While this is a big change for us, we have already been moving towards a more distributed workforce that’s increasingly remote… We’re a global service and we’re committed to enabling anyone, anywhere to work at Twitter,” Christie stated.
Twitter is not the only big tech company with a potentially infected staff member. On Feb. 28, Google announced an employee at its Zurich office tested positive for the virus, but the company added that all its offices remain open.
Earlier Friday, the city of Austin issued a state of emergency due to the virus, and the popular annual movie and music festival South By Southwest, which was set to take place March 13-20, was cancelled.