Tech giant Facebook — Menlo Park's largest employer with nearly 15,000 workers — has recommended a large portion of its workforce begin working from home as of Friday, March 6.
The move comes amid growing concerns about the spreading coronavirus, known as COVID-19.
The company, whose headquarters is off of Bayfront Expressway, has asked all of its Bay Area employees to stay home, with the exception of some full-time employees and contractors needed to monitor safety and security of the digital platform.
"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," said Facebook's Director Corporate Media Relations Anthony Harrison in a statement Thursday. "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."
The company also recommended that employees cancel all business travel in and out of the Bay Area, and said that it will be canceling all Bay Area Facebook-related events.
In San Mateo County there are now two reported cases of the coronavirus, known as COVID-19. There have been 20 reported cases in Santa Clara County.
There have been 14 deaths across the U.S. due to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention. Older people and those with chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease seem to be at the most risk for more serious COVID-19 illness, the CDC says.
Read our latest updates on local coronavirus cases here.
Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by the Almanac, Mountain View Voice and Palo Alto Online here.