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SEC becomes first federal agency to tell employees to stay home amid coronavirus outbreak

SEC becomes first federal agency to tell employees to stay home amid coronavirus outbreak
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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) became the first federal agency to direct some employees to work from home due to fears of a coronavirus case on Monday.

In an email to staff first reported by The Washington Post, SEC officials asked employees working on the ninth floor of the agency's Washington, D.C., headquarters to stay home after an employee reported symptoms and was informed by a doctor that they may have coronavirus and should be tested.

“Out of an abundance of caution, effective immediately the SEC is requiring all Headquarters personnel (employees and contractors) who work on the 9th floor to telework,” read the email.

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SEC officials added that the employee did not exhibit any symptoms at any point while working in the agency's office.

“To the best of our knowledge, the employee remained asymptomatic during the employee’s time in the building,” the email read.

Ten cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in the Washington, D.C., area while the global case total has climbed past 100,000. The number of cases across the U.S. climbed past 600 on Monday, while health officials have warned that shortages of test kits for the disease are occurring in the U.S.

“The slow federal action on this matter has impeded our ability to beat back this epidemic,” one New York health official wrote to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday.