As more New Yorkers contract the coronavirus, the media companies reporting on it are not immune and are having to take serious precautions.
At Condé Nast, which owns Vogue, GQ and The New Yorker, it’s understood a staffer at its One World Trade Center office is displaying symptoms of the coronavirus.
As a result, Condé is deep cleaning the area where the employee sits and is continuing to advise staffers to work from home if they can until the end of March. It is not known which publication they work for.
Time magazine, which is housed in the Salesforce tower hovering over Bryant Park, has encouraged its whole office to work from home today and for the rest of the week after some employees became sick. Although execs believe it’s just a winter bug, they are taking precautions.
A Time rep. said: “While Time does not have any known cases of coronavirus in the organization, nor any reason to believe staff members have been exposed, we have been doing work from home business continuity preparation for the past week and have invited any employees who wish to work from home to do so.”
As reported by WWD earlier this week, staffers at New York Magazine and The Cut were among the Vox Media workers sent home Monday after a non-Vox employee working in the same downtown Manhattan building tested positive for the coronavirus.
A Vox representative confirmed at the time that the Vox office, located at 250 Vesey Street, will be closed until March 12, but that has now been extended until April 3. In the meantime, staffers will work remotely.
“During this time, we will continue to thoroughly clean and disinfect our offices and closely monitor recommendations coming from the WHO, CDC, and local authorities to determine next steps. The health and safety of our employees is our number one concern,” she said.
Elsewhere, Meredith Corp., the publisher of InStyle and People, sent out a message today recommending all employees in New York, Chicago and Stamford, Conn., offices work from home if possible, although offices remain open if they want to come in.
The New York Times, meanwhile, is still open for business, but has encouraged staff who want to work remotely to do so. Many have taken up the offer, but there are still a number of staffers in the office, according to a company rep.
At Buzzfeed, execs asked employees based in New York and San Francisco, who are able to do their job remotely, to begin working from home Monday.
“For those with risk factors, we are recommending working from home as a precautionary measure, based on the effect of the virus on specific populations thus far,” senior vice president Katie Sitter said in a note to staffers. “For all others who are able, we are asking you to work from home to give a safer environment to employees who have to get their work done in the office (a lower density of people reduces the spread of contagions).”
This comes as the World Health Organization has just declared COVID-19 a pandemic. “Now that the #coronavirus has a foothold in so many countries, the threat of a pandemic has become very real,” it tweeted. “But it would be the first pandemic in history that could be controlled.”
At the latest count, there are more than 200 cases of coronavirus in New York, the largest number of any state.
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