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Coronavirus: Conde Nast and Irish Times staff members test positive for Covid-19

New cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) have been confirmed at the offices of Conde Nast in London and the Irish Times in Dublin.

Magazine publisher Conde Nast told staff this morning that someone who has been working at their Vogue House headquarters has tested positive for the disease. They are now in self-isolation.

The majority of staff based at the office began working from home late last week, but aside from the affected floor the rest of the office remains open to anyone who needs to work there.

In an email seen by Press Gazette, managing director Albert Read said: “We are following protocol and vacating this floor for a deep clean and it will be closed for seven days.

“This does not, for the moment, affect other parts of the building. But, as before, anyone who can work from home should do so.”

Brands based at Vogue House include Vogue, GQ, Wired and Tatler.

A Conde Nast spokesperson told Press Gazette: “We are following advice from the UK health authorities and monitoring the situation closely. We are not anticipating business disruption.”

A member of staff at the Irish Times tested positive last night, leading to the newspaper’s office shutting entirely for at least 48 hours.

The title has nonetheless pledged to get print and digital editions out each day, with its news editor Mark Hennessy tweeting: “More than ever, truth matters.”

The daily newspaper told readers the staff member who tested positive is currently in self-isolation and is in communication with Ireland’s health service, which has begun tracing people they may have been in contact with.

All employees based at the newspaper’s Dublin headquarters have been told to work from home with “every effort” made to minimise disruption to readers in both print and online.

The title said its printing facility and home delivery services were unaffected.

Hennessy tweeted: “Everyone in The Irish Times sends best wishes to our colleague, who has proven positive for Covid-19.

“Our thoughts to their family. Tara Street will close for two days. The newspaper, however, will NOT close. Print and digital editions will appear. More than ever, truth matters.”

Irish Times front page on Monday 16 March 2020 – the day after a member of staff was diagnosed with coronavirus

Digital editor Paddy Logue tweeted that these were “difficult and unprecedented times” but that the “show goes on”.

Hearst UK, publisher of Elle, Cosmopolitan and Esquire magazines, has “strongly advised” staff to work from home for the rest of March in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The House of Hearst is based in Leicester Square, central London.

James Wildman, chief executive of Hearst UK, said: “The health and safety of our people and their families is our number one priority. Therefore, we have strongly recommended employees to work from home for the remainder of March 2020 in light of the current situation…

“Hearst UK will continue to fully service both consumers and clients throughout this period. We continue to adhere to Public Health England’s advice and are monitoring all developments carefully.”

Elsewhere in London, a Times journalist tested positive for coronavirus last week with the News UK office remaining open to staff with more frequent cleaning of communal areas in particular.

The Financial Times told staff that one of its employees who recently returned from a badly-affected country had one of the symptoms of coronavirus, but it is understood the person has not been tested for the disease as their case is not serious enough.

Most FT staff are now working from home, although the newsdesk and production teams are on rotation between working in the office and working remotely.

A prominent TV journalist in Australia has also tested positive for the virus after meeting Rita Wilson, the wife of actor Tom Hanks, earlier this month.

Richard Wilkins, 65,  entertainment editor for Australia’s Channel Nine Network, said he feels no symptoms and that his conversation with Wilson at Sydney Opera House was his “best guess” as to how he got the virus.

Hanks and Wilson are both in self-isolation in Australia after testing positive, and their recent contacts were being traced.

Picture: Google Maps

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