Angela Lang/CNET

An employee at Google’s Zurich office has been diagnosed with coronavirus, the company said Friday. 

The virus and the respiratory illness it causes, known officially as COVID-19, have had a global impact. The world’s largest tech companies have also been grappling with their effects.

“We can confirm that one employee from our Zurich office has been diagnosed with the coronavirus,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “They were in the Zurich office for a limited time, before they had any symptoms. We have taken — and will continue to take — all necessary precautionary measures, following the advice of public health officials, as we prioritize everyone’s health and safety.” 

Google’s Zurich office, like the rest of the company’s offices, is still open. The diagnosis was reported earlier by Business Insider.


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The coronavirus, discovered in December in China, has killed more than 2,800 people and infected more than 84,000

Separately on Friday, Google said it’s canceling its Google News Initiative Summit because of concerns over the coronavirus. The conference, which had been scheduled for late April in Sunnyvale, California, would’ve brought together hundreds of people across the media industry. 

“We regret that we have to cancel our global Google News Initiative summit but the health and wellbeing of our guests is our number one priority,” Richard Gingras, vice president of news at Google, said in a statement.

The illness, with its flulike symptoms, has caused disruptions elsewhere in the tech industry, too. Facebook on Thursday announced it has canceled F8, the social network’s biggest event of the year, because of coronavirus concerns. Instead, Facebook will hold smaller local and livestreamed events. MWC, the massive mobile-phone conference held in Barcelona, was also canceled earlier this month. 

As of this writing, though, Google still has plans to hold its own annual developer conference, called Google I/O, scheduled for May.

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