Twitter temporarily closes Seattle office over coronavirus fear

(Logo: Twitter/Handout, Graphic: The Desk)

Twitter has temporarily closed its Seattle office after an employee was told by a medical professional they may have coronavirus.

The announcement was made in a tweet on Friday.

A Twitter official said the employee, who was not named, was told by their doctor they may have COVID-19, a strain of coronavirus that has spread rapidly after first being discovered in China late last year.

The employee, who is still waiting the results of a test to see if they have COVID-19, had not been in Twitter’s office or in contact with employees for several weeks, the company said.

Twitter said its decision to close its Seattle office and hire a crew to conduct a “deep clean” was done out of an abundance of caution.

“We have notified our employees, contacted the appropriate public health officials and are coordinating appropriately to protect everyone’s health and safety,” Twitter said, adding that it is providing support to the employee who may have COVID-19.

The news comes after Twitter encouraged more than 4,000 employees to work from home if possible. The social media company said it would continue to make its offices open for those who wanted to come in to work, except in a handful of locations where government regulations prevented it from doing so.

“While this is a big change for us, we have already been moving towards a more distributed workforce that’s increasingly remote,” Twitter executive Jennifer Christie said in a note to employees. “We’re a global service and we’re committed to enabling anyone, anywhere to work at Twitter.”

For accurate and reliable information about the coronavirus COVID-19, click or tap here to visit the World Health Organization’s website.