Facebook recommends working from home for all Bay Area employees due to coronavirus

In light of the novel coronavirus outbreak/COVID-19, Facebook is encouraging Bay Area staff to work from home starting Friday, March 6 a spokesperson said on Thursday. 

The move comes the same day the number of confirmed cases of the new virus reached 20 in Santa Clara County. 

Both full-time employees and contingent workers are included in the new guidelines from the Silicon Valley tech giant. However, for thousands of full-time employees and a smaller number of contractors involved in the platform's safety, it is not possible for them to work from home. The company said the reduced number of workers in the offices will help reduce the spread of the disease. 

Facebook will continue to do daily deep cleaning of its offices and work with health organizations on the impacts of COVID-19. 

The company said it will be canceling all of its Bay Area events. 

“Based on guidance from Santa Clara County today, we are strongly recommending that all Bay [Area] employees and contingent staff work from home starting tomorrow, Friday, March 6th. This decision is based on our desire to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19, The health and safety of our teams, their loved ones and our neighbors remain a top priority,” wrote Anthony Harrison, a Facebook company spokesperson. 

Google also is giving its Bay Area employees the option to work from home if the roles allow to test their "business continuity processes."