Yesterday, Santa Clara County asked tech companies in Cupertino, Palo Alto, Mountain View, San Jose, and other cities to “consider use of telecommuting options for appropriate employees.” Apple is now encouraging employees in the area to work from home if they are able to.
Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman reports that as the coronavirus continues to spread in Santa Clara County, where many of Apple’s corporate offices are located, Apple is asking employees to work for home if possible as an “additional precaution.” The company says it is a recommendation, not a requirement, as some employees may have jobs that require being in the office.
There are 20 known cases of coronavirus in Santa Clara County, along with several other suspected cases. Apple’s home city, Cupertino, is located inside Santa Clara County.
Employers have also been asked to suspend nonessential employee travel. Apple has restricted employee travel to Italy or South Korea, due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak affecting those countries.
“We have instituted specific travel restrictions in a few countries including China, South Korea, and Italy,” the company told employees in a memo outlining its latest response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Employees are only allowed to travel to those regions for business-critical reasons and must get approval from a company vice president.
Apple hasn’t made an announcement yet as to whether it will cancel WWDC, which usually takes place in June in San Jose.
While Apple retail stores in the Bay Area remain open, but a “deep cleaning” protocol has been implemented in an attempt to keep retail workers and customers safe from the virus.
Image by Arne Mueseler