Never mind the just-canceled South by Southwest, staffers of big tech companies may not even be exiting their front doors if their bosses have any say as Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google asked employees in Seattle and the Bay Area to work from home due to coronavirus fears.
Apple is said to have made the request for its Apple Park Campus staffers to stay home Friday as COVID-19 cases multiply in California, where a cruise ship is currently quarantined off the coast. An Apple rep wasn’t immediately available for comment so it’s not clear if the mandate is continuing into next week or indefinitely until the situation clarifies.
Facebook has asked Bay Area employees to work from home and also recommended – as did Amazon, Google and Microsoft – that their staffs in the Seattle area work remotely. There have been 14 confirmed deaths from coronavirus in the region around Seattle.
Anthony Harrison, a Facebook spokesperson, said the company made the decision after consulting with officials from Santa Clara County, according to The San Jose Mercury News. “This decision is based on our desire to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 ,” Harrison said. “The health and safety of our teams, their loved ones and our neighbors remain a top priority.”
The company said it is asking some employees and contractors who work on Facebook safety and security platforms to still come into the office, where Facebook is implementing daily deep cleaning and sanitizing of facilities.
Facebook has also recommended that its employees cancel all business travel in and outside of the Bay Area. It has cancelling all of its scheduled events for the Bay Area.