Google Ramps Up Precaution Against Novel Coronavirus

Google on Monday began restricting visits to its offices in Silicon Valley, San Francisco and New York as it ramped up precautions against the deadly novel coronavirus. The added measure was enacted as word went out that Apple had joined the list of technology firms advising employees to work from home and that the prestigious TED Conference set to take place in April has been delayed to protect the health of attendees.

To reduce novel coronavirus risk, “external/social visits” to some Google offices have been restricted, and all job interviews will be “virtual” instead of face-to-face for the foreseeable future.

Google was already among technology companies including Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon that have given employees the option of working from home instead of going to the office.

Apple over the weekend told employees at most of its offices around the world that they can work from home this week, according to an internal memo reported by Bloomberg and confirmed by Axios.

Twitter staff across the world was asked to work from home starting Monday in an effort to stop the spread of the new coronavirus epidemic.

Google last week cancelled its major annual gathering of software developers amid virus concerns.

A game developers conference in San Francisco was postponed, and Facebook recently cancelled its F8 developers conference, the biggest annual event for the US tech giant, due to virus worries. Like Google I/O, the F8 gathering in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose typically draws throngs of software makers from around the world who collaborate with the tech giant on its platform. Face-to-face interaction at the San Jose conference center will be replaced with online presentations.

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