Google has just asked all of its US-based employees to work from home if it's possible in their roles, effective immediately and through to April 10 over the current coronavirus / COVID-19 outbreak.
Business Insider has confirmed the news with Google itself, with the search giant asking staff based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dublin, and Seattle to work from home over the last week or so. Google staff that are required to be physically present at their jobs will be okay, as Google will keep its offices open.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted out that people should "contribute" to "social distancing" if you are able to as it "helps the overall community spread and most importantly, will help offset the peak loads through critical healthcare systems and also saves it for people in need".
Google is also offering its temporary staff and vendors across the world paid sick leave, if they need to take time off because of COVID-19. The company has established a new fund to cover this, explaining in a blog post: "This fund will mean that members of our extended workforce will be compensated for their normal working hours" if they have symptoms of COVID-19, or are quarantined.
The move by Google follows New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has just established a 1-mile "containment area" around the synagogue that seems to be the center of the cluster of the coronavirus outbreak affecting New York. At a news conference on Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo said: "New Rochelle, at this point, is probably the largest cluster of these cases in the United States".
You can read more about that here.
Read More: Coronavirus / COVID-19
New York Governor Cuomo has established a 1-mile containment zone in New Rochelle over the spread of coronavirus / COVID-19 in New York, while Google has recently asked all staff based in Canada or the United States to work from home if they can. Apple has just canceled an event where it was due to unveil a successor to the iPhone SE, and a new iPad, too.
Delivery start ups including Postmates have now got a "non-contact delivery option" for those who are worried about contracting coronavirus, too.
We've seen some gigantic events being canceled or postponed over coronavirus / COVID-19 fears, with Mobile World Congress, the Game Developers Conference, Google I/O, Facebook's F8 developer conference -- and even chatter from Dick Pound, a member of the International Olympic Committee, with the IOC talking about outright canceling the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Google has also ended all of its in-person job interviews for now over coronavirus fears, instead shifting to a digital-only Hangouts meeting for future employees. Twitter is also "strongly encouraging" its employees to work from home if possible, while Amazon has halted its near 800,000 strong workforce from all non-essential travel over coronavirus / COVID-19 fears.
But don't worry, gamers... as AMD has confirmed that the next-gen Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 launches are "on track" for later this year and that coronavirus hasn't forced a delay for these launches (yet).
You can read more on our coverage of coronavirus here.
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