CNN closes US offices to non-essential employees amid Covid surge
CNN has announced that it is closing all offices in the United States as a result of rising Covid cases in the country, and concerns about the new Omicron variant.
The network informed staff on Saturday of the closures, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters, describing the decision as out of an “abundance of caution”.
The closures will reportedly affect those who do not need to work from CNN’s offices, the memo said.
It is thought to include CNN Center, the network’s global headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as offices in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
The Independent has approached CNN for comment.
The Wall Street Journal reported that CNN will return to producing its shows using filming units operated by fewer people, known as “flash studios”. The units were operational during the early months of the Covid outbreak in the US.
“We are doing this out of an abundance of caution, and it will also protect those who will be in the office by minimizing the number of people who are there,” CNN president Jeff Zucker reportedly wrote in the memo.
CNN workers are already required to be vaccinated. The Saturday memo noted that masks will also be required at all times for anyone working at the company’s offices.
On Friday CNN anchor Brianna Keilar announced that she had tested positive for Covid and was symptomatic, despite being fully vaccinated and having had a booster shot.
“I have symptomatic Covid and am so thankful to have the protection of being double vaccinated and boosted,” she tweeted.
“Please be careful about potential exposureset tested before gathering with friends and family.”
In August, CNN terminated three of its workers for coming to the office unvaccinated.
Cases of the Omicron variant of Covid are meanwhile thought to be doubling between every 1.5 to 3 days, the World Health Organisation reported on Saturday.
Additional reporting by Reuters