About 600 workers have been forced to stay home until Monday as the space occupied by the top-tier firm at Governor Phillip Tower and Governor Macquarie Tower at 70 Phillip Street undergoes a “hospital grade deep clean”.
“We have not taken this decision lightly and have engaged independent expert medical advice through International SOS to help inform our response,” KWM chief executive Berkley Cox said in an email to staff early this morning seen by news.com.au.
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“We have contacted individuals who we are aware of were in close proximity to the suspected case to notify them of the situation, and as a precaution we have requested them to self-isolate until the pending test results are conclusive.
“More extensive contact tracing is also underway.”
The move comes as Westpac employees were expected to return to their Sydney headquarters this morning after three staff members were suspected of contracting the new coronavirus.
Another large law firm, Clayton Utz, triggered a shutdown of its Sydney office last week after a member of the team came into contact with the outbreak.
“The employee’s wife’s 95 year old grandmother passed away this week, and was found to have contracted COVID-19,” staff were told in an email.
“The employee’s wife is being tested; if the results are negative, the employee will not have been exposed.”
The test result came back negative.
Corporate firms and various industries across the country have consulted staff on emergency plans to self-isolate and work from home as the World Health Organisation officially upgraded the coronavirus to a pandemic overnight.
Gyms are forcing members to work out in their own space, the popular Dark Mofo cultural festival in Tasmania was cancelled and the AFL has spruiked the possibility of playing games in empty stadiums.
“Like all companies around Australia, we continue to take the advice from the Australian Government and the relevant medical authorities across the states and territories,” AFL boss Gillon McLachlan said in a statement this week.
“If mass gatherings are suspended then we will play games in stadiums with no crowds.
“We are also working on other protocols to protect not only players and staff but our members and supporters.”
Have you been forced to self-isolate? Get in touch on Twitter via @James_P_Hall or email at email@example.com