AUSTIN, Texas — A Dell employee returning to India from Austin, Texas, has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a Dell spokesperson. Now, the company is asking any Central Texas employees who can work from home to do so.
Dell said that the employee visited the company's headquarters in Round Rock while they were in the U.S. They are now in quarantine in India under medical supervision and won't return to work until cleared by medical officials, according to an internal Dell email KVUE obtained.
The email states that Dell's Environment, Health & Safety team will be contacting any Central Texas employees who are thought to have been in contact with the patient, giving them specific guidance.
Dell advised any Central Texas employees capable of working from home to do so through March 24, out of an abundance of caution. Dell said it will "reassess the situation weekly and update policies as appropriate." Dell said employees working from home will "reduce the number of people coming into the office, helping ensure team members who must be onsite can do so more safely and with greater peace of mind."
Dell assured all employees whose jobs do require them to be at a facility that all of its Round Rock campus buildings have been fully sanitized.
A spokesperson for the City of Austin's Homeland Security and Emergency Management department told KVUE on Monday that Austin Public Health is aware of the case involving the Dell India employee, but they are not concerned about it at this time. The department doesn't believe the man contracted the virus in Austin because the city currently does not have any reported person-to-person cases.
The spokesperson said the current threat to the community is "really low," and the city has not been contacted to conduct contact tracing, which is when health officials try to contact every person a patient may have been in contact with.
Dell has 14,000 total employees in Central Texas, including at its Round Rock and Parmer campuses. It is not clear how many of them have the ability to work from home.
KVUE reached out to the City of Round Rock and the Williamson County and Cities Health District for comment, but the spokespersons for both entities said they had nothing else to share as of Monday night.
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