Twitter announced Friday it will be closing its Seattle office "to conduct a deep clean" after learning one of its team members working at that office has likely contracted the virus.
Washington state is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States having recorded over 79 confirmed cases and 11 deaths in the last two weeks. The state reported the first known case in the United States on January 19th.
Twitter joins Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Lyft in asking employees at its Bay Area and Seattle offices to stay home as they conduct a "deep clean". There is at least one employee confirmed case at each company. Twitter and Square CEO, Jack Dorsey, stated on Twitter that both companies have strongly urged all companies worldwide to work from him. For staff members in Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea, Twitter said the work-from-home guidance is mandatory in part because of government restrictions in those areas.
Additionally, in recent days, Dorsey revealed he was re-evaluating a planned six month trip to Africa which has been criticized across Twitter. They believe his efforts haven't been focused on improving the company. Twitter has become the target of activist investors who are pushing for major changes at the company.
“I had been working on my plans where I’d work decentralized, as my team and I do when we travel, but in light of COVID-19 and everything else going on, I need to re-evaluate. Either way we’ll continue to pursue opportunities in Africa,” Dorsey said, speaking at a Morgan Stanley conference.