Apple has advised all 12,000 employees at its Cupertino headquarters to work from home Friday amid heightened coronavirus concerns a day after California declared a state of emergency.
In a memo seen by DailyMail.com and issued to all staff at the Santa Clara Valley offices named Apple Park, employees were told that the precaution was being taken following recent guidance from public health officials.
Staff were advised that offices would remain open but that they were ‘encouraging team members’ to stay away despite only sending the email when many would already be traveling to work.
The company joined Facebook and Microsoft which also introduced new policies to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus this week. An estimated 83,000 workers are affected by the closures and work-from-home policies within these three companies alone.
Apple’s retail stores in the area will remain open.
‘As the COVID-19 response has developed, Apple’s dedicated team has focused intently on what’s best for the safety and well-being of our teams,’ said the memo, which was sent to employees around 8.30am Friday when many would already have been on their way to work.
‘On Friday, March 6, we are taking the additional precaution of encouraging team members in our SCV offices to work from home if you can do so.
‘While offices will be open, this change is driven by recent guidance from public health officials that recommends minimizing dense gatherings and reducing proximity where possible.’
It added that the situation would be monitored over the weekend and further updates about the office would be issued.
Facebook has told employees in its San Francisco Bay offices to stay at home Friday and cancel all business trips due to the virus. The company is believed to have around 14,000 employees in the Bay Area.
The social network, which has thousands of offices in the region, is ‘strongly recommending’ all workers in the area to work from home on Friday, March 6, a company spokesman told CNBC.
However, employees critical to the site’s safety and security will still be required to work on-site, despite the city announcing its first two confirmed cases of the virus.