Coronavirus has canceled various Microsoft conferences, and now it's touching the campus itself. Talking to CNBC, the company confirmed that two employees at Puget Sound, which houses the main Redmond HQ, have tested positive.
One of those appears to be a LinkedIn employee, which is technically a Microsoft subsidiary after its $26 billion acquisition. Neither employee came into contact with the other, meaning they were infected with COVID-19 separately. Thankfully, LinkedIn says its employee did not have any contact with other employees when infected.
“Local health experts have determined that this individual had no known contact with other employees while infected and, based on that fact, there is no risk to those who work at LinkedIn from this case,” a spokesperson said. “We are doing everything we can to support our colleague and will continue to keep the health and safety of our employees, customers and partners as our top priority, working closely with public health officials globally.”
Microsoft now has two workers who tested positive for coronavirus. One worked on main campus and had close contact with small number of other employees. The other was a remote LinkedIn worker and had no contract. Both in quarantine now.
— Dina Bass (@dinabass) March 6, 2020
Bloomberg reporter Dina Bass says LinkedIn's worker was a remote one, but the other infected employee worked on the main campus and had “close contact with a small number of employees”. Microsoft software engineer Joe Martella says the employee was housed in building 41
The information sheds more light on Microsoft's decision to encourage employees to work from home. It also said that it will ensure its hourly workers, such as cafe staff, will get the same pay despite the knock-on effects to their time on campus.
Employees staying at home for the next few weeks will undoubtedly have a knock-on effect on productivity, and Microsoft is already expecting to miss its Windows financial expectations due to virus-related supply chain issues.
Microsoft has donated to various organizations to help fight coronavirus and is also giving away Teams premium features for free. With hope, its measures to protect employees so far will prevent a major outbreak at the company.