An employee from Nintendo of America at the company’s US headquarters in Redmon, Washington has tested positive for the coronavirus. In response to the virus outbreak, Nintendo is allowing its employees in Washington and California to work from home.
The employee is receiving treatment for the virus. All other workers that had come into contact with him have self-quarantined regardless of if they have shown symptoms or not.
Nintendo is another entry in a growing list of companies shifting their employees to a remote working environment. The company had already given employees on the west coast the option of working from home as a safety precaution. Many employees are expected to take advantage of it now that one of their own has become infected. In a statement, Nintendo of America wrote: “Nintendo of America is supporting this individual as they recover and will continue to take precautions to safeguard the health and well-being of all our employees and the broader community.”
Washington and the Seattle area, in particular, have been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. There have been a total of 457 cases and 31 deaths as a result of the virus outbreak in the region. Washington Governor Jay Inslee has banned any gatherings of more than 250 people, and the local governments in the Seattle area have shut down public schools to prevent further spread of the virus.
Washington state and the greater Seattle area are home to many major game developers, publishers, and service providers, including Bungie, Twitch, Unity, and Niantic, among many others. As the state and local governments continue to lock down the region to protect the general populous, it can be expected that many of these companies may need to slow development progress and likely shift entirely to remote working environments to protect their employees.