Amazon, Facebook ask Seattle-area staffers to work from home

Amazon, Facebook ask Seattle-area staffers to work from home
© Getty Images

Amazon and Facebook will ask Seattle-area employees to work from home amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus after an employee of the online retail giant and a contractor for the social media platform tested positive for the disease.

"We've notified our employees and are following the advice of public health officials to prioritize everyone's health and safety," Facebook said in a statement obtained by CNN, saying the contractor last visited a company facility on Feb. 21 and that it will be closed for the rest of the week.

"We are recommending that employees in Seattle [and] Bellevue [Wash.] who are able to work from home do so through the end of the month," an Amazon spokesperson told CNN.

ADVERTISEMENT

Amazon said it has notified all employees who were in close contact with the employee, who worked at the company’s downtown Seattle Amazon Brazil office building. The person took ill Feb. 25 and has not returned to work since, Amazon said.

"We're supporting the affected employee,” an Amazon spokesperson told CNN.

The overwhelming majority of the 11 coronavirus deaths in the U.S. thus far have been in Washington state.

The developments come the day after Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeySenators seek to curb counterfeit toys and goods sold online Senate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Pledged money not going to Indigenous causes MORE (D-Mass.) questioned Amazon on reports that it engaged in price-gouging on items like masks and hand sanitizer.

“We agree with Senator Markey—there is no place for price gouging on Amazon and that’s why our teams are monitoring our store 24/7 and have already removed tens of thousands of offers for attempted price gouging,” a company spokesperson told The Hill Wednesday. “We are disappointed that bad actors are attempting to take advantage of this global health crisis and, in addition to removing these offers, we are terminating accounts.”