Who's working from home? Amazon, Epic & 5 others enact remote protocols amid coronavirus outbreak

As the coronavirus continues to spread across the U.S., several big tech companies including Amazon and Epic have restricted some employee travel and instituted remote work protocols.

As of 3 p.m., March 10, 805 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the U.S. The global death toll has surpassed 4,200, with 28 deaths reported in the U.S.

Here are some of the employee work restrictions seven tech companies have implemented amid the coronavirus outbreak:

1. Amazon notified employees at the end of February that it would be restricting nonessential travel in the U.S. until at least the end of April due to unknowns about the coronavirus outbreak. On March 3, the retail giant confirmed that an employee in the company's "Brazil" office building in Seattle had been quarantined after testing positive for COVID-19.

Amazon on March 4 told its San Francisco, Seattle and Bellevue, Wash.-based employees to work from home if they can throughout the end of the month, according to CNBC. On March 9, the company extended the same remote work instructions to employees at its New York and New Jersey offices, the network reports. Amazon is also loosening its attendance policy throughout the month and will not count any unpaid time off for employees who work "from an office, store, fulfillment center, delivery station or sort center" 

2. Apple on March 10 announced that an employee at its Cork, Ireland, office has been diagnosed with COVID-19. The company has asked employees at its Cupertino, Calif.-based headquarters to work from home if possible.

3. Epic is allowing some of its employees to work virtually in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, as some of the EHR giant's hospital and health system clients are currently caring for patients who have contracted COVID-19.

4. Facebook on March 5 completely closed its Seattle-based "Stadium East" office until March 9, the end of the incubation period for an employee in the office who tested positive for COVID-19. The social media company also asked all 5,000 of its Seattle-based employees to work from home until March 31.

5. Google last month reported that an employee in its Zurich, Switzerland, office tested positive for the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. On March 3, the tech giant asked most of the 8,000 workers at its European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, to work form home after a staff member reported flulike symptoms.

Google has also restricted all visitors from its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., and other offices in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York to try and prevent the spread of the virus, according to a March 9 CNBC report. The company has also recommended all its employees in Japan, South Korea and other locations to work from home.

6. Microsoft on March 6 announced that two of its Washington-based employees have been diagnosed with COVID-19, Microsoft asked employees in the Puget Sound region of Washington and the California Bay Area to work from home over the next few weeks.  

7. Twitter on March 1 suspended all non-critical employee business travel and events around the world to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The following day, the social media giant told its global workforce it strongly encourages all employees globally to work from home if able.


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