A report from Business Insider today says that a Google employee has tested positive for the coronavirus. Google is a large company with more than 100,000 employees across many countries, and BI says that the employee had been in the company’s Zurich office before displaying symptoms…

The company provided a statement to Business Insider today, saying “We can confirm that one employee from our Zurich office has been diagnosed with the coronavirus. 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.”

BI says that Google is preventing employees from traveling to Iran as well as two Italian regions where the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, is seeing large amounts of spread. Starting in early March, the company is restricting travel to South Korea and Japan as well.

Further, Recode is reporting that Google has recently put up signs in some Bay Area offices reminding people to wash their hands and cover their mouths.

Recode has also learned that Google recently put up signs in at least two Bay Area offices outside bathrooms reminding people to wash their hands and cover their mouths, with a link to an internal site about the coronavirus at the bottom. The intranet site has infection prevention tips like asking employees who host events to make sure there is sufficient hand sanitizer and “appropriate hand-washing facilities,” according to a source who works at the company.

Google also announced that its upcoming Google News Initiative Global Summit is canceled due to the “coronavirus situation.”

Update: According to Bloomberg, Google this afternoon canceled a “major internal gathering” for sales and marketing set for March in Las Vegas. The event involved “thousands of employees” from two continents, with the company citing the “evolving coronavirus situation.”

The news also comes as Google’s annual developer conference is scheduled for mid-May. Other companies such as Facebook have already cancelled their annual events out of an abundance of caution, but Google has yet to make a decision. The company says they are monitoring the situation.


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Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.