WeWork closes a NYC location after employee tests positive for coronavirus

The employee, who worked for its Meetup business at 12 East 49th Street, has been in quarantine since Friday.

12 East 49th Street in New York (Credit: Google Maps, iStock)
12 East 49th Street in New York (Credit: Google Maps, iStock)

WeWork has temporarily closed the offices of its Meetup business after an employee tested positive to coronavirus.

The employee has not been in the office at 12 East 49th Street since last Thursday, and started showing symptoms on Friday, according to an internal memo shared with The Real Deal.

“As a result, Meetup has instituted a mandatory work from home policy for all NYC employees and they will not be in the building until further notice,” Tom O’Boyle, a member of WeWork’s community team, wrote in the message.

Boyle wrote that WeWork was closing the third floor of the building, which Meetup occupies, and the 18th floor common space, while it sanitizes the areas where the employee was present. WeWork declined to comment beyond the memo.

It is the fifth WeWork-occupied building affected by the coronavirus. Last week, WeWork closed its 575 Lexington Avenue location after a tenant tested positive to the virus. The office reopened Monday. Other locations include a building in Seattle, and two properties in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak started in December.

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In New York, the outbreak has been centered in Westchester County, with about three-dozen cases, but the number is climbing in the city. Three SL Green-owned buildings have been affected after workers tested positive, while staffers at a Brookfield-owned building in the Financial District and another at a Related Companies-owned building in Hudson Yards also tested positive.

On Tuesday, the number of cases was increasing by the hour, with 173 reported in New York State, and more than 800 cases and 27 fatalities nationwide, according to the New York Times.

Meetup, which provides a platform for interest groups to connect, was acquired by WeWork in 2017 for reportedly $200 million. It is among several startups WeWork acquired ahead of its failed attempt to go public last year, and is one of several businesses WeWork has since put up for sale.

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