Facebook confirms a contractor in its Seattle offices has tested positive for COVID-19.


James Martin/CNET

A contractor in Facebook’s Seattle offices has tested positive for coronavirus, the internet retailer confirmed Wednesday. The revelation comes as the death toll related to the pneumonia-like illness in the US rose to 10, all but one occurring in Washington state.

“A contractor based in our Stadium East office has been diagnosed with the COVID-19,” Tracy Clayton, a Facebook company spokesperson, said in a statement. “We’ve notified our employees and are following the advice of public health officials to prioritize everyone’s health and safety.”Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The coronavirus, which was found in China in December, has infected more than 90,000 people and killed more than 3,000. The virus causes a respiratory illness called COVID-19.

The Seattle office is reportedly closed until March 9, with employees being encouraged to work from home at least until March 31.

News of the Facebook employee’s infection comes on the heels of the revelation that an Amazon employee at the company’s Seattle headquarters has tested positive for the virus. The internet retailer says that employee is currently in quarantine.

The novel coronavirus, officially known as SARS-CoV-2, causes an illness exhibiting pneumonia-like symptoms. It was first reported to the World Health Organization on Dec. 31 after originating in Wuhan, China, and has spread to countries around the globe.

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