CBS News announced on Wednesday that all employees in two of their buildings, both located on West 57th street in Manhattan, are to work from home after learning two staffers tested positive for the coronavirus.
CBS Broadcast Center in New York City is located at 513 W 57th Street between 11th and 12th avenues, a few blocks south of Lincoln Center. The second building is located directly across the street at 555 West 57th street.
In a memo shared with Heavy, Susan Zirinsky, President and Senior Executive Producer of CBS News said, “We have learned that two employees – one working on the 5th floor of the 513 building of the Broadcast Center and another on the 9th floor of 555 West 57th Street – tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19). We have been planning for this possibility and want everyone to be assured that we are taking all necessary measures.”
Zirinksy added, “We are asking that employees in both buildings work remotely for the next two days while the buildings are cleaned and disinfected. In addition, we have identified employees who may have been in direct contact with these individuals in question, and they will be asked to self-quarantine and work remotely for the next 14 days.”
The names of the two employees that tested positive for COVID- 19 were not released. Zirinsky also noted that this will not be a long shutdown. She said, “At this point, we anticipate the offices will be open Monday.”
Despite the sudden evacuations, CBS News will continue to broadcast, but from other locations. Zirinsky said in her memo, “Our broadcasts will continue to go on and we are working with every EP and CBSN and each has determined the best alternative location to originate.”
Coronavirus Was Announced To Be An Official Pandemic An Hour Before the CBS New Building Forced An Evacuation
The widespread fear of coronavirus was already rampant when on March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic, which officially declared COVID-19 to be a “worldwide” threat.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said, “Keeping the workplace safe, keeping the home safe, keeping the school safe and keeping commercial establishments safe — this should be universal for the country.”
“We would like the country to realize that, as a nation, we can’t be doing the kinds of things we were doing a few months ago,” Dr. Fauci continued. “It doesn’t matter if you’re in a state that has no cases or one case. You have to start taking seriously what you can do now. Everybody should say, ‘All hands on deck. This is what we need to do.'”
Many New York-based schools and colleges have canceled in-person classes and are continuing their education programs online since the outbreak. On Tuesday, On New York Governor Andrew Cuomo established a “containment area” in New Rochelle. In a news conference, Cuomo said, “It is a dramatic action, but it is the largest cluster in the country, and this is literally a matter of life and death. That is not a rhetorical statement.”