• Facebook is “strongly” recommending that all Bay Area employees should work from home, starting on Friday, March 6.
  • “This decision is based on our desire to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. The health and safety of our teams, their loved ones and our neighbors remain a top priority,” a Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Facebook is “strongly” recommending that all of its Bay Area employees work remotely as fears grow around the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement sent late Thursday, a Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider: “Based on guidance from Santa Clara County today, we are strongly recommending that all Bay Area employees and contingent staff work from home starting tomorrow, Friday, March 6th. This decision is based on our desire to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. The health and safety of our teams, their loved ones and our neighbors remain a top priority.”

COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has sickened nearly 98,000 people and killed more than 3,300, and is causing mounting disruption around the globe — disrupting supply chains and forcing the closure of major events.

Facebook cancelled its F8 developer conference, typically the biggest event of the year for the company, and has pulled out of the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, the future of which now looks in doubt.

Google has banned employees from international travel, cancelled its I/O event, and ordered workers at a Dublin office to work remotely after a worker exhibited flu like symptoms. An employee who was in the Zurich office has also tested positive for the virus.

Amazon and Facebook have both already asked their Seattle area-based employees to work remotely, and Twitter has made the same request of its nearly 5,000-strong workforce.

Do you work at Facebook and have a story to share? Contact this reporter using a nonwork device via encrypted messaging app Signal (+1 650-636-6268), encrypted email (robaeprice@protonmail.com), standard email (rprice@businessinsider.com), Telegram/Wickr/WeChat (robaeprice), or Twitter DM (@robaeprice). PR pitches by standard email only, please.

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