Facebook’s headquarters are in Menlo Park, California. 

Angela Lang/CNET

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Facebook told employees that it would pay them each a $1000 bonus to help those who are working remotely amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, the company said Tuesday. 

The social media giant has more than 44,900 workers worldwide and the move highlights what tech companies are doing to help soften the impact of the virus’ spread. It comes as officials in six Bay Area counties, including San Francisco, order a near-lockdown that started on Tuesday.

Many tech workers, including from Facebook, were already asked to work from home before the announcement. Employees can use the $1000 bonus however they wish such as purchasing office equipment or paying for unexpected childcare, according to the company. 

The Information, which first reported about the cash bonuses, said that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees about the perk early Tuesday in an internal company notice. 

The spread of the coronavirus, which causes a respiratory illness known as COVID-19, has disrupted businesses throughout the world including in Silicon Valley. Facebook said in February that it was canceling its F8 developer conference in San Jose. Instead, the company plans to host local events and broadcast live videos. Facebook also said in February that the coronavirus would likely impact production of its Oculus virtual reality headsets. 

On Tuesday, Facebook said it was awarding $100 million in grants and ad credits to assist small businesses. 

Google, Apple, Amazon and Twitter didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about whether they were also offering their employees bonuses. Workday said earlier this month it will paying some employees two-weeks pay as a bonus.

Working from home has been “messy” for some Silicon Valley tech companies such as Apple because of the secrecy surrounding the release of new products, The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend. 

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