- The coronavirus outbreak that originated in China has killed 4,300 people worldwide and infected more than 121,000, according to recent totals.
- The US has reported more than 1,000 cases, and 31 deaths.
- Many of the US cases have been near the tech hubs of Seattle and Silicon Valley on the West Coast.
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On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared it a pandemic. The virus has disrupted travel worldwide, leading to flight cancellations, quarantines, and other breakdowns in movement. The US has reported at least 1,080 cases, many of them in Washington and California, which are also home to major tech companies including Google, Amazon, and Apple. Since the virus started spreading in the US, these companies have implemented work-from-home measures and banned nonessential travel.
Amazon, Twitter, Apple, Airbnb, and Microsoft are some of the companies asking employees to work remotely as the virus spreads. Santa Clara County, home to Apple, Google, and Intel, banned all large gatherings. Traffic around Silicon Valley and Seattle is notoriously packed, so commuters took notice when it lightened considerably as more companies implemented work from home policies. One analysis found minor overall changes in traffic patterns in the Bay Area, but major shifts in Seattle, which saw as high as 30% decreases in rush hour traffic last week over a typical week.
Here’s what it looks like.
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