The latest about the impact of the novel coronavirus on Seattle and the technology industry. Follow @geekwire for updates.
March 4, 4:00 p.m. — Boeing is reducing company travel and enabling telecommuting, among other mandates.
March 4, 3:20 p.m. — Microsoft said it will withdraw from participating at the health-tech conference HIMSS 2020 in Orlando, Fla. Amazon, Intel, Salesforce, and others already pulled out. Microsoft withdrew from the Game Developers Conference last week and also cancelled its MVP Summit in the Seattle region.
March 4, 2:31 p.m. — Health officials advise people to work at home, postpone gatherings to slow spread of coronavirus. There were 10 new confirmed cases reported Wednesday in the Seattle region, including one additional death, bringing the total for King County to 31 confirmed cases and nine deaths.
March 4, 2020, 2:00 p.m. — The Amazon employee who tested positive for COVID-19 and went home sick on Feb. 25 had dinner at Facebook’s Seattle office the previous night. Facebook confirmed the employee visited its building, Arbor Blocks 333, on Feb. 24. Facebook said Wednesday that it “took immediate action and implemented targeted deep cleaning and enhanced sanitization measures at our cafes at our Arbor Blocks location.”
March 4, 2020, 1:45 p.m. — Federal lawmakers in the House passed an $8.3 billion bill to fight the outbreak on Wednesday. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill Thursday.
March 4, 2020, 1:16 p.m. — UW Medicine ramps up new coronavirus lab test; Gates Foundation pledges $5M for detection: The University of Washington School of Medicine is moving forward with a new clinical lab test for the COVID-19 coronavirus, and plans to be able to test up to 1,500 samples per day by the end of the week. Also today, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it’s committing an additional $5 million to help public health agencies in the Seattle area enhance their capacity to detect the virus. Read more.
March 4, 2020 at 10:11 a.m. — Google bars visitors in Seattle, allows employees to work remotely amid coronavirus outbreak: Employees at Google’s Washington state offices were given the option to work from home this week amid a coronavirus outbreak in the Seattle region. Read more.
March 3, 2020, 5:26 p.m. — Amazon employee in Seattle tests positive for coronavirus: An Amazon employee at the company’s Seattle headquarters has tested positive for the novel coronavirus spreading across the country, according to an internal email obtained by GeekWire. The employee went home sick on Tuesday, Feb. 25 and later tested positive for COVID-19. Amazon notified employees who came into close contact with the individual. The employee is based out of Amazon’s Brazil building at 400 9th Ave N, near downtown Seattle. Read more.
March 3, 2020, 7:20 a.m. — High school student near Seattle builds website to serve as a leading place for coronavirus information: Along with his concern for the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Avi Schiffmann was concerned about the spread of misinformation. So the 17-year-old from just outside Seattle set out to make a website that pulls together the latest and most accurate data about the epidemic — and he’s heard from people around the world about how useful his effort has been. Read more.
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