Uber, Lyft Drop as Investors Expect Consumers to Avoid Ride Hailing Due to Coronavirus

Shares of Uber and Lyft are lower as investors expect consumers to avoid the ride-hailing services due to the spread of the coronavirus.
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Shares of Uber  (UBER) - Get Report and Lyft  (LYFT) - Get Report dropped Monday amid a wider market downturn as investors flee stocks that could be especially vulnerable to the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

Uber and Lyft cars that have picked up numerous strangers may suffer as consumers change their patterns to limit the threat from the highly communicable disease.

Over the weekend, an Uber driver from New York's Long Island was hospitalized in the Queens borough of New York after testing positive for the disease.

Uber said that once it was alerted to the situation, the driver’s access to the app was removed. The company also said that the driver was not licensed in New York City and therefore did not pick up any passengers in the five boroughs.

A total of 89 people in New York State are confirmed to have the coronavirus, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“We have a dedicated team working closely with public health authorities and stand ready to help in any way,” Uber said in a statement.

Over the weekend, Uber said it would offer compensation to drivers and Uber Eats employees who were diagnosed with the coronavirus or placed in quarantine for as long as 14 days.

The company said it had started compensating drivers in some markets and was planning to implement the same benefits for drivers and delivery people worldwide. 

Bloomberg reported that Uber had compensated five quarantined, but ultimately non-infected, drivers in Britain and Mexico.

Shares of Uber at last check were off 7.8% to $29.22 while Lyft shares fell 6.6% to $33.65.