Coronavirus News: Amazon, Google taking measures to protect workers from COVID-19 in NYC

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Amazon and Google are two of the companies who are taking measures to protect their employees from the spread of coronavirus in New York.

The mayor has asked business owners to stagger employee hours if possible, or better yet, have more employees work from home.

"If you can do it, it's a good thing to do," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "Why? It's because we simply want to reduce the number of people on mass transit just to open up some more space."

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  • The MTA has also spoken out in favor of employers modifying their employees' schedules.

    "We're urging employers to let people change the times that they're coming into work and change the times that they're leaving work so that we can stagger people and have less crowding," interim New York City Transit head Sarah Feinberg said Monday. "I can see that happening."

    On Monday, Amazon asked employees in both New York and New Jersey to work from home through the end of March.

    "We continue to work closely with public and private medical experts to ensure we are taking the right precautions as the situation continues to evolve," an Amazon spokesperson said. "This includes recommending that employees who are able to work from home in Seattle/Bellevue, the Bay Area, New York, New Jersey and the Lombardy region/Asti province of Italy do so through the end of March."

    A spokesperson with Google announced that to protect candidates' and interviewers' health, all Google interviews will be now be moved to virtual interviews for the foreseeable future.

    The company announced that external and social visits have been restricted in some offices, including New York and the Bay Area.

    IBM notified all of its employees who live in NYC or Westchester and encouraged them to work from home if their job permits until further notice.

    "The health and safety of IBMers, partners and clients is our most important priority, and we believe asking IBMers to work from home is a prudent step that can also mitigate risk and help the community as it responds to this outbreak," a spokesperson said.

    Vice Media has asked employees at its Brooklyn office to work from home because an employee there may have been exposed to the virus.

    Many companies are continuing to encourage their employees to stay home if they are feeling sick or experiencing flu-like symptoms.

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