03 Mar Nike And Columbia Sportswear Take Emergency Coronavirus Precautions
Nike closed its Oregon headquarters over the weekend and is closing its European headquarters in Amsterdam on Monday and Tuesday for deep cleaning in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Columbia Sportswear, also over the weekend, thoroughly disinfected its offices in Portland, OR.
The move to sanitize Nike’s Beaverton campus comes after news broke that a case of coronavirus hit home involving a Washington County, OR resident.
Greg Rossiter, Nike’s global communications director, said in a media statement, “We are aware of the presumptive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Lake Oswego. While we have no information indicating any exposure to Nike employees, out of an abundance of caution, we are conducting a deep cleaning of the campus. All WHQ buildings and facilities, including fitness centers, will be closed over the weekend.”
WHQ refers to Nike World Headquarters.
An employee from Forest Hills Elementary in Lake Oswego tested positive for the virus on Friday, becoming the first presumed positive case of COVID-19 in Oregon. The first coronavirus death in the U.S was reported by the CDC Saturday in neighboring Washington state.
Nike’s decision to temporarily close its U.S. headquarters appears to mark the first time a large U.S. corporation has closed its U.S. offices as a result of the virus. Many offices overseas have taken such steps.
The temporary closing of Nike’s European headquarters came after an employee was infected with the coronavirus, according to Dutch news agency ANP. The offices in Hilversum are being disinfected, according to an internal e-mail attained by ANP. The affected employee was staying home in isolation for 14 days. Approximately 2,000 Nike employees from 80 countries work at the European headquarters.
Meanwhile, Columbia Sportswear implemented a deep clean over the weekend of its headquarters in the Oak Hills neighborhood of Portland, OR although their facilities remained open.
“We’ve got employees whose kids are at that school,” said Mary Ellen Glynn, spokeswoman for Columbia Sportswear, referring to Forest Hills Elementary, in an e-mail to The Oregonian. “The tentative plan is for them to self-quarantine.”
The company has no reported infections.
“The company is trying to adjust to this new environment,” said Glynn. “Many, if not most, business meetings are being conducted electronically.”
Amazon on Friday asked all of its 798,000 employees to stop all nonessential travel, both domestic and internationally, immediately, according to an Amazon spokesperson. This is after Amazon already restricted employee travel to China in February.