Facebook shuts offices after employee contracts COVID-19

The social media giant has shut part of its offices in Singapore and London after one of its employees was tested positive for COVID-19.
By: | March 10, 2020

Facebook’s London office and part of its Singapore base were temporarily shut down for “deep cleaning” after an employee was diagnosed with COVID-19.

A staff member working at the US technology giant’s Marina One office in Singapore was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 6, a spokesman said. “We have immediately closed the affected areas for deep cleaning and advised employees based in the affected area to work from home until March 13,” he said in an email statement.

The infected employee had also visited Facebook’s London offices between Feb 24 and 26. “We are therefore closing our London offices until Monday (March 9) for deep cleaning and employees are working from home until then,” the spokesman added.

The company said it was getting in touch with individuals who had direct contact with the infected employee, and have asked them to self-isolate and monitor for any potential symptoms.

Facebook has already closed its Shanghai office until further notice, while employees in Italy and South Korea have been encouraged to work from home. In addition, staff in the San Francisco Bay area have been “strongly recommended” to work from home starting from March 6.

Meanwhile, Twitter has also announced the temporary shut down of its office in Seattle. This comes after one of its employees was suspected of being infected with COVID-19. “A Seattle-based employee has been advised by their doctor that they likely have COVID-19, though still awaiting final testing,” Twitter said in a statement. “While the employee has not been at a Twitter office for several weeks and hasn’t been in contact with others – we’re closing our Seattle office to deep clean.”

Twitter did not say when it planned to reopen its Seattle office. The social networking company said it notified employees and contacted public health officials about the situation. Globally, COVID-19 has infected more than 109,000 in 99 countries and territories, killing around 3,800 people.