Roy Gilbert

Twitter tells employees to work from home as tech firms react to coronavirus

In this file photo taken May 2, 2019, Twitter logos are displayed on the screen of smartphones in Nantes, western France.

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Twitter on Monday became the first major U.S. corporation to strongly encourage its employees to work from home to avoid spreading coronavirus.

“Beginning today, we are strongly encouraging all employees globally to work from home if they’re able,” the San Francisco-based social media company wrote in a blog post. “Our goal is to lower the probability of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus for us — and the world around us.” Twitter had more than 4,800 employees at the start of 2020.

The announcement followed news earlier in the day that cases of the viral infection had been identified in the California counties of San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma and Placer, and that four additional people had died from COVID-19 in Washington state, bringing the total U.S. death toll to six.

Twitter had announced Sunday that it was suspending all non-critical business travel and events, which was already a step farther than most of its corporate peers.

Large tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple have said that they are restricting travel to and from China. Google’s restriction also includes Japan, South Korea, Iran and Italy. Amazon and Salesforce have both frozen all nonessential business travel indefinitely.

Many companies with offices and retail outlets in China, such as Apple, Google, and Facebook, have either closed them temporarily or asked employees to work from home. China remains the nation most deeply affected by the viral outbreak, and to date 2,803 of the more than 3,000 reported deaths from the virus have been in China’s […]

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