- Amazon has told employees at its Seattle headquarters to work from home if they can for the rest of the month amid the coronavirus outbreak.
- Amazon on Wednesday advised employees "who work in a role that can be done from home, do so starting now through the end of March."
- The guidance came the same day the company alerted workers that an employee in the area had tested positive for Covid-19, but Amazon said that person had not come to work since starting to feel sick.
- Washington has become the US state hit hardest by the novel coronavirus: The virus has killed 11 people in the US so far, 10 of them in Washington. It has 39 cases of the virus.
Amazon has told its employees in Seattle to avoid coming into their offices for the rest of the month, as Washington state emerged as the area of the US hit hardest by the novel coronavirus.
The guidance came Wednesday, the same day the company confirmed that an Amazon employee in the area had tested positive for Covid-19.
It said any employee based in Seattle or nearby Bellevue who could work from home should do so until the end of March -- a period of almost four weeks.
The email acknowledged that not everyone could easily work from home and advised employees to talk to their managers to work out whether it was practical for them to do so.
The message said "every team is different and not all work may be conducive to working from home, so please talk with your manager and your team to establish expectations on working remotely."
The Guardian obtained a company internal memo earlier Wednesday that confirmed an employee had tested positive for Covid-19 and said any employees who worked in close proximity to that person had been notified.
That memo said the employee went home sick February 25 and had not returned to the company's offices since.
It also said the employee worked in an Amazon location called the Brazil Building, one of the more than 40 buildings that make up the company's Seattle headquarters.
It is separate from the building made up of three glass spheres that is the company's most distinctive presence in the city.
Amazon's guidance cited recommendations from health officials in Washington state, the US state hit hardest by the coronavirus.
Of the 11 people killed by the virus in the US so far, 10 were in Washington. The state has had 39 cases, according to the Washington State Department of Health.
Washington has declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus, as has California, which has recorded the other US death.
The declarations allow the states to receive emergency federal funding to battle the coronavirus.
The virus has killed almost 3,300 people worldwide, the vast majority in China.
Facebook and Microsoft have given similar guidance to their employees in the Seattle area.