With the recent and growing concerns and initiatives in place to deal with the coronavirus, WeWork has decided to take precautions by closing two floors of a building that it occupies in New York City after a worker was tested positive for COVID-19.
The employee worked at WeWork subsidiary Meetup, which had a full floor of the building in midtown Manhattan. Another floor in the building that was used as common space for both WeWork employees and the company's office-sharing clients also was closed.
It is the second building to be shuttered temporarily in New York because of the coronavirus and the fifth of WeWork's properties to be closed worldwide. WeWork temporarily closed an office in Seattle, which has recently been re-opened.
The coronavirus concerns are the latest woes for a company that until recently was considered one of the world's hottest startups, with an estimated value of nearly $50 billion. But the future of WeWork and the coworking economy it represented has been in doubt since last fall, when the company called off a planned initial public offering and dumped Founder and former CEO Adam Neumann.
The spread of the coronavirus in the U.S., which raises questions about the wisdom of open office spaces, could deal another painful blow to WeWork. The company's business model is predicated on convincing people to work nearly elbow-to-elbow with strangers, and even to share a beer with them in WeWork's famous office happy hours.
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