Mar 5, 2020 - Health

Facebook contractor diagnosed with coronavirus in Seattle

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

A Facebook contractor who works in the tech giant's Stadium East office in Seattle has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, a company spokesperson confirmed in a statement to Axios early Thursday.

The big picture: "We've notified our employees and are following the advice of public health officials to prioritize everyone's health and safety," the spokesperson said. The worker was last in the office Feb. 21. It was immediately shut and is due to reopen this Monday, when the incubation period ends. Facebook is encouraging all Seattle site staff to work remotely until March 31. On Tuesday, an Amazon employee in Seattle tested positive for COVID-19, as Washington grapples with a spike in cases.

Go deeper: Washington schools shut as Gov. Inslee seeks $100M to fight coronavirus

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Tech giants promise to pay hourly workers while employees telecommute

Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Twitter all told Axios on Thursday night that they plan to pay their hourly workers regular wages even as they encourage many of their staff to work from home, reducing their on-site support staffing needs.

Why it matters: While many tech employees can do their jobs remotely, large companies also have support staff that do everything from cooking their meals to driving shuttles and cleaning the office. Those workers can't do their jobs remotely, and it was not initially clear how the coronavirus response would affect them.

Go deeperArrowMar 6, 2020 - Health

Tim Cook to allow most Apple staff to work from home this week

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Apple CEO Tim Cook has informed employees in most global offices that they may work from home between March 9–13 as the company grapples with the "unprecedented" coronavirus outbreak, according to a memo first reported by Bloomberg and confirmed by Axios.

The big picture: Apple joins a chorus of other companies encouraging workers in Seattle or the Bay Area to work from home, including Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Salesforce. Apple, like these other companies, said in the memo will continue to pay its hourly staff while full-time workers telecommute.

Go deeper: Apple's coronavirus warning foreshadows broader threat for tech

U.S. coronavirus cases top 1,000 as states scramble to curb the spread

A stretcher is moved from an AMR ambulance to the Life Care Center of Kirkland in Washington state. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

The number of cases of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. soared to 1,037 and the death toll to at least 31 by early Wednesday, per data from Johns Hopkins and state health departments.

The big picture: Nearly 40 states had reported cases by Tuesday and at least 12 have declared a state of emergency — Washington, California, New York, Oregon, Kentucky, Maryland, Utah, Colorado, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Florida and Michigan — which reported its first two cases on Tuesday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 11, 2020 - Health