CBS News shutters office after two employees get coronavirus

NEW YORK (AP) — CBS News shut down its New York City headquarters for cleaning and disinfecting on Wednesday after two of its employees tested positive for coronavirus.

Employees will be asked to work remotely for the next two days and broadcasts moved to accommodate the cleaning, the network said. For instance, CBS This Morning will originate out of Washington on Thursday and Friday while the New York offices are cleaned.

People who came in contact with the sick employees will be asked to self-quarantine for the next two weeks, CBS News President Susan Zirinsky said in a memo to staff. “At this point, we anticipate the offices will be open on Monday,” Zirinsky wrote.

CBS has two separate offices located across 57th Street on the West Side of Manhattan, one primarily housing the staff of 60 Minutes. Complicating the issue for the network is that the two infected workers were stationed in different buildings. The network released no details on how the staff members were infected.

Meanwhile, The Associated Press (AP) and NBC News on Wednesday announced work-at-home plans as concerns about the global pandemic grew.

The AP will allow employees who are able to work at home to do so with the approval of their managers, implementing the new policy on a staggered basis throughout the world through the end of next week.

The AP operates out of 250 locations in 100 countries.

First in line, effective immediately, are AP staffers in offices where employees have had direct or indirect exposure to someone who has tested positive, or where the government requires people to work at home. These locations include New York, Washington, Chicago, New Orleans, Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, New Delhi, Singapore, Jakarta, Manila, Iran and Italy, said the news service’s President and CEO Gary Pruitt.

FROM LEFT: Anthony Mason, Gayle King and Tony Dokoupil reporting on the coronavirus on ‘CBS This Morning’ in New York on March 6. PHOTO: AP