Amazon Joins Corporate America’s Coronavirus Battle as Worker Tests Positive

Amazon is the latest to join other large companies that have had to jump into action to combat the deadly coronavirus within their ranks.
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Amazon.com  (AMZN) - Get Report is the latest company to reveal that one of its employees has tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the tech and online retailing giant to join other large companies that have had to quickly jump into action to combat the deadly disease and its rapid spread.

An Amazon spokeswoman late Tuesday confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that an employee at its 55,000-strong Seattle headquarters had tested positive for the virus. The company said it has notified other workers who may have come into contact with the person.

Additional details including whether Amazon plans to shutter its offices weren't immediately available.

Amazon joins a growing list of companies who have been thrust into combating an invisible enemy that has the potential to not only disrupt their business production capabilities, supply chains and other logistics, but also their lifeblood: their employees.

Apparel giant Nike  (NKE) - Get Report on Monday temporarily shuttered its European headquarters in Hilversum, the Netherlands, after an employee at its European campus was confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus.

That followed the sporting-goods giant's closure Sunday of its main headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., as it ordered a deep clean of its sprawling campus.

Big-box retail giant Target  (TGT) - Get Report on Monday canceled its post-earnings in-person "financial community" meeting in midtown Manhattan due to concerns about the rising number of cases of the coronavirus, opting instead for a web conference call. 

Twitter  (TWTR) - Get Report announced that it will be “strongly encouraging” all of its employees around the world to work from home “if able,” as the company seeks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus causing Covid-19.

The company hasn’t said how long it will be encouraging employees to stay home.

The swift and sudden moves aren’t just impacting companies’ physical locations. Alphabet’s Google  (GOOGL) - Get Report on Tuesday announced the cancellation of a second high-profile event in the Bay Area amid growing concerns over the spread of coronavirus.

Other tech giants including Facebook  (FB) - Get Report and chipmaker Nvidia  (NVDA) - Get Report also have cancelled upcoming events.

Still others, including Salesforce  (CRM) - Get Report, have banned most business travel within the U.S. as a precautionary measure.

It's happening outside of the business and corporate world as well. More than 30,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the cancellation of Austin’s South by Southwest tech, film and music event slated to kick off March 13, with companies like Facebook and Twitter banning employees from attending.  

As of Wednesday morning, organizers had not canceled the show.

Meantime, the White House is focusing its attention on some of the more-obvious sectors that continue to be impacted by the virus's spread, which by official tallies as of Wednesday  had infected 93,455 and killed 3,198 globally. 

Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials will meet with executives from U.S. air carriers, cruise lines and other tourism-focused companies this week.

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