An Amazon staffer based a couple of blocks from its Seattle nerve-center has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The employee worked at the web giant's SEA53, aka Brazil, building on 9th Avenue in the US Pacific Northwest city, close to Google's new downtown offices, and not far from Amazon's 7th Avenue headquarters.
This comes amid tech conferences going online-only to counter the epidemic's spread, Twitter and others urging staff to work from home and banning visitors from campuses, and warnings from the British government the bio-nasty could lay out a fifth of the UK workforce.
Seattle and Washington state are at the heart of the COVID-19 outbreak in America: nine people have died from the disease among 27 confirmed cases reported in region. Worldwide, more than 90,000 people are known officially to have caught the virus, and more than 3,000 have died.
In a statement this evening, Amazon spokespeople said of its sick staffer: "We’re supporting the affected employee who is in quarantine. The employee is based out of Amazon’s Brazil office building in Seattle, WA.”
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An internal memo, obtained and shared by GeekWire, stated the staffer felt unwell on February 25, went home, and has not returned to the office since. They tested positive on Tuesday this week.
Any Amazon colleague known to have been within two metres of the worker has been warned by bosses, the biz said. You're supposed to keep at least that distance from the infected to avoid catching the nasty yourself. Work areas are being regularly cleaned.
Over the weekend, two Amazon workers in Milan, Italy, tested positive for the coronavirus, after the biz urged employees to avoid non-essential travel. It also pulled a million products from its online shelves that falsely claimed to be cures or were straight-up price gouging. Meanwhile, a Googler in Zurich, Switzerland, tested positive for the bio-nasty at the end of last month.
Coronavirus symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure, and include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you think you've caught it, stay at home, away from everyone else, and seek medical assistance if your condition takes a turn for the worse. If not, wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, and consider working from home until this blows over. ®