Coronavirus: 2 Global News employees in Toronto test positive for COVID-19

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML

There are two confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the Global News television station in Toronto, the news organization announced Monday.

Both employees are in quarantine and a number of staff who’ve been in close contact with them have been advised to self-isolate.

“Global News and its parent company Corus Entertainment are actively monitoring this rapidly evolving situation and continue to follow the advice and guidelines provided by Public Health officials,” said Rishma Govani, senior manager of news and radio communications for Global News.

“The health, safety and well-being of our employees is our utmost priority.”

Due to privacy concerns, Global News management would not say who tested positive for COVID-19 but has worked closely with Toronto Public Health to identify and advise anyone who was in close contact with either of the two people to self-isolate.

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The news organization has also taken a number of measures it says are meant to protect the health, safety and well-being of its employees, including asking staff in all parts of the organization to work from home, enhanced cleaning of the building, and distancing and reduction of the number of staff in the building at one time.

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“We are thankful to Toronto Public Health for working so closely with us from the very first diagnosis to ensure the ongoing safety of our employees,” said Ward Smith, senior vice-president of Global News.

As of Monday afternoon, there were over 300 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in Canada and four people had died.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also expanded restrictions on airlines Monday afternoon in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus and a number of provinces have instituted measures to protect workers.

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Canadian news organizations too have taken unusual measures during the pandemic, including working with rival TV networks to pool news conferences in the coming weeks as organizations anticipate COVID-19 will impact more journalists.

American news organizations have also felt the impact of COVID-19. CBS News closed its New York office on Wednesday and produced its newscasts from other cities after two employees tested positive for COVID-19.

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