F5 Tower in Seattle closes for cleaning after employee had contact with coronavirus patient

F5 Tower, left, in downtown Seattle, is home to about 1,500 employees. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

F5 Networks closed its downtown Seattle office building on Monday for cleaning after an employee came in contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus. The network infrastructure and security technology company employs about 1,500 people at the new F5 Tower that opened in November.

“An F5 employee in our Seattle headquarters has been in contact with an individual who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19),” a company spokesperson said. “We are committed to supporting this employee’s health, as well as protecting their privacy. Our employee was tested, and the results showed they do not have COVID-19.”

PREVIOUSLY: Seattle’s F5 Tower rises above in ‘Could City’ with perks and views to wow employees and customers

The spread of the virus, which has infected nearly 90,000 globally, is a growing concern now in the U.S. and in Washington state, where two deaths have been confirmed. Both victims died over the weekend at EvergreenHealth hospital in Kirkland, Wash.

Concerns over coronavirus have impacted companies of all sizes in Seattle and beyond, with office closures, travel restrictions and more.

“Our concern is with the health and safety of our employees, customers, partners and communities worldwide; and we have and will continue to put in place public safety measures,” F5’s spokesperson said. “This includes sanitizing our offices and closing the F5 Tower for business on March 2; encouraging local employees to work from home; postponing or converting large in-person events to virtual meetings; and prohibiting all international and domestic non-essential business travel.”

This past weekend, F5 postponed its Analyst and Investor Event previously scheduled for March 3 in New York City, as well as Agility, its annual user conference planned for March 16-19 in Orlando.

“At this time of uncertainty, including recent reported cases of the virus in Washington state, the health and safety of our employees, investors, and the general public must be the top priority,” the company said in a statement. “We believe that hosting a large group event drawing participants from many regions is not appropriate at this time. We look forward to continuing our dialogue with investors and to hosting this meeting soon.”

Last month, payments technology company Stripe closed its Seattle engineering office for two days after an employee visiting from Singapore had contact with someone who was subsequently diagnosed with coronavirus.

View original article here Source