Vice Staff Asked To Work From Home, Other Publishers Advise Self-Quarantine

On Monday, Vice Media asked employees at its headquarters on S 2nd Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to work from home, after a staffer "may have been exposed to COVID-19," also known as the coronavirus.

The move was made "out of an abundance of caution," according to a statement.

"It’s come to our attention that an employee in our S2 Brooklyn office may have been exposed to COVID-19. While the exposure is unconfirmed, we are putting in place a work-from-home measure to decrease the likelihood of exposure to the S2 office," it reads.

Vox Media staffers at New York and The Cut were sent home yesterday after a non-Vox employee working in the same downtown Manhattan building tested positive for the coronavirus, according to WWD, which first reported the news.



The Vox office, located at 250 Vesey Street, will be closed until March 12 for disinfection. Staffers will work remotely.

According to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the total number of COVID-19 cases in New York is over 140, more than any other U.S. state. More than 800 cases have been confirmed in the U.S., according to The New York Times.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio urged New Yorkers to work remotely if possible.

Several Washington, D.C. news organizations are also urging staffers to work from home. 

The Washington Post, Politico and the Daily Beast have asked reporters who covered the Conservative Political Action Conference to self-quarantine, after an attendee at the annual conservative event at National Harbor tested positive for coronavirus.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we have asked Post employees who attended those conferences to self-quarantine for seven days (since the first seven days of possible incubation have passed)," reads a Post memo to staff, reported by The Hill.

All public spaces in the Post’s D.C. headquarters were thoroughly cleaned Sunday. 

“We will also continue supplying disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer in conference rooms and other public spaces… If you are not feeling well, please stay home and let your manager know," the memo continued.

The Post has already canceled nonessential travel for employees. It has also canceled all "WP Live" events scheduled to take place this month, according to the Washingtonian.

Politico released a memo echoing the Post’s precautionary measures: “We understand this news may be jarring, but it’s important to recognize that this was a large conference and the risk of transmission for employees who were not in close contact with the infected individual is extraordinarily low.” 

No one else related to the CPAC event has shown signs of infection.

Earlier this month, about 30 editors and executives at fashion magazines were asked to self-quarantine after attending Milan Fashion Week.

At the time, there were at least 3,000 reported cases of coronavirus in Italy, with over 100 deaths. (That number has now jumped to over 10,000 infections and 600 deaths.)

The National Magazine Awards (also known as the “Ellie Awards”), which were scheduled to take place on Thursday, was postponed yesterday due to the “growing impact of coronavirus." It is one of a number of media events that have been recently canceled.
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