Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic

Amazon confirms Seattle employee has contracted coronavirus

The affected employee is in quarantine.

Coronavirus: How companies can handle employee travel

An Amazon employee in Seattle has tested positive for the coronavirus, known as COVID-19, the company has confirmed.

"We're supporting the affected employee who is in quarantine," an Amazon spokesperson told ZDNet.

It is the first confirmed COVID-19 case among Amazon's workforce in the United States. 

According to a report by The New York Times, Amazon sent an internal message to employees on Tuesday about the COVID-19 case and has since made contact with those who came in close contact with the affected employee. 

"The employee went home feeling unwell on Tuesday, February 25 and has not entered Amazon offices since that time," the email reportedly said.

The employee was based out of Amazon's Brazil office building in Seattle, Washington.

Read more: Google I/O, Facebook F8 and other 2020 tech conference cancellations and travel bans

Earlier this week, Amazon confirmed that two of its employees in Italy had contracted COVID-19 and were placed in quarantine. The company has also asked all of its 798,000 employees to stop all nonessential travel, both domestic and internationally, amid fears surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak.

The United States has begun to see fatalities due to the virus, with nine dead in Washington state at the time of writing.

Worldwide, health officials have reported more than 90,000 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 disease and over 3,100 deaths, including over 170 outside of mainland China.

On the same day, Google announced it has cancelled its I/O event due to the COVID-19 outbreak, saying it would no longer hold the I/O developer conference live at the Shoreline Amphitheatre and instead explore a digital format. 

Similarly, Salesforce World Tour Sydney, which was originally meant to be held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre on Tuesday, was moved to online-only following concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. According to Salesforce Australia and New Zealand CEO Pip Marlow, the changes to the conference's format was about putting everyone's health first.

"You are experiencing our very first all-digital World Tour," Marlow said, delivering the keynote. "It is a tribute to the innovative nature of this company and the team behind the event for sure, but it's also a testament to the trust you put in us to put your health and safety first and that is exactly what we're doing.

"You trust us to have your health and safety in our hearts and in our decisions. But also you rely on us to help make you successful. So that's why we reimagined today and we just didn't walk away."  

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