New York Times newsrooms in NYC, DC to get ‘deep cleaning’ as some employees undergo 14-day self-quarantine
The New York Times in a staff memo announced that staffers who attended a conference in New Orleans where a person tested positive for the coronavirus will stay home for two weeks.
Newsrooms for the Times in New York and Washington, D.C., also will undergo a “deep cleaning,” Times national editor Marc Lacey wrote in a tweet.
The person who tested positive for COVID-19 “has mild symptoms and is expected to make a full recovery,” Lacey wrote, stating that the person was self-quarantining at home for 14 days. The person who tested positive is not a Times employee.
“A person who attended the NICAR20 conference in New Orleans last week tested presumptively positive today with COVID-19. This attendee has mild symptoms and is expected to make a full recovery. They are self-quarantining at home for 14 days…” –IRE https://t.co/JYcIx3ckNc
— Marc Lacey (@marclacey) March 10, 2020
Lacey said the two newsrooms would get cleaned, while Times employees who attended the conference will stay home for 14 days.
“CLARIFYING: Some NYT staffers attended the Nicar conference in New Orleans, where someone from another organization tested positive for the coronavirus,” Lacey wrote Wednesday. “The newsroom in NY and DC is now getting a deep cleaning. And our employees [AT THE CONFERENCE] will stay home for 14 days.”
CLARIFYING: Some NYT staffers attended the Nicar conference in New Orleans, where someone from another organization tested positive for the coronavirus. The newsroom in NY and DC is now getting a deep cleaning. And our employees [AT THE CONFERENCE] will stay home for 14 days.
— Marc Lacey (@marclacey) March 11, 2020
The response from the Times follows steps other news organizations have taken to quarantine employees who attended conferences in Washington attended by individuals who tested positive for the coronavirus.
U.S. cases have topped 1,000 while the death toll in the country has risen to 32. Most of the deaths occurred in Washington state among elderly patients with pre-existing conditions.
The Washington Post in a staff memo on Tuesday instructed employees to work from home, if possible, in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
“We have decided to begin encouraging (but not mandating) employees to work from home if your role and equipment needs make it practical to do so, starting tomorrow through the end of the month,” publisher Fred Ryan said in the memo.
“We intend to continue our operations at full scale even with this change in employee locations. As we get more information from the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and local officials, we will continue to evaluate this position, and will let you know if further changes are deemed necessary,” he added.
The newspaper previously canceled office tours and nonessential travel for employees, and has asked reporters who covered the Conservative Political Action Conference, an attendee of which has tested positive for the virus, to work from home for seven days. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) also said they will self-quarantine after making contact with the conference attendee, with Gaetz announcing Tuesday that he has tested negative.
A CNN debate scheduled for Sunday is still scheduled to be held, according to the network, although a live audience will not be present as a precaution.