Tech

Amazon tells Seattle-area employees to work from home as coronavirus spreads

Key Points
  • Amazon informed employees in Seattle and Bellevue, Washington, late Wednesday to work from home if they can through the end of the month. 
  • The update came after Amazon announced Tuesday that an employee had tested positive for the coronavirus. 
  • Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook have also asked employees in the Seattle area to work from home.
Nikol Szymul staffs a reception desk at Amazon offices discretely tucked into a building called Fiona in downtown Seattle, Washington on May 11, 2017.
Getty Images

Amazon is asking employees at its Seattle and Bellevue, Washington, offices to work from home if they can until the end of the month after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus.

The company informed employees of the change late Wednesday, one day after Amazon confirmed that an employee who works in one of its Seattle offices tested positive for COVID-19. Amazon is headquartered in Seattle and has offices in Bellevue, where it employs more than 2,000 people. 

An Amazon spokesperson told CNBC in a statement, "We are recommending that employees in Seattle/Bellevue who are able to work from home do so through the end of the month." 

Last month, Amazon restricted all nonessential travel in the U.S. in response to continued spread of the coronavirus. 

Several technology companies have been urging their employees to work from home in light of the coronavirus outbreak. Facebook on Thursday encouraged all of its 5,000 employees in Seattle to work from home the rest of the month, after a worker in the area tested positive for the coronavirus. Facebook closed its Seattle office until Monday.

Microsoft also urged employees in the Bay Area in California and the Puget Sound area of Washington to work from home, while Twitter advised employees to do the same if they can. 

As of Thursday morning, there are now more than 95,700 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide, with at least 3,280 deaths. There are at least 159 confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S., and at least 11 deaths. 

Washington state has reported the largest number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. Ten people in the state have died from the virus as of Wednesday night. Heath officials have reported at least 39 confirmed cases of the virus, while 231 people remain under supervision.

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