Facebook worker in Seattle is diagnosed with the coronavirus


Facebook Inc. said a Seattle worker has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, the first known infection within the company as the pathogen continues to spread in the region.

The employee, a contractor, was last in Facebook’s Stadium East office in Seattle on Feb. 21. The company alerted employees Wednesday night and said the Seattle office will be closed to all employees until March 9. Employees in Seattle are also being encouraged to work from home until the end of the month.

“A contractor based in our Stadium East office has been diagnosed with the COVID-19,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. “We’ve notified our employees and are following the advice of public health officials to prioritize everyone’s health and safety.”

Nations around the world are grappling with the coronavirus epidemic, which erupted in China but made its way to Europe and the Middle East. California, the most populous U.S. state, has declared a state of emergency, while the House of Representatives green-lit a $7.8 billion spending package to fund measures to combat the outbreak. This week, Amazon.com Inc. also notified employees of the first confirmed case of coronavirus among its U.S. workforce, at its South Lake Union office complex in Seattle.