The coronavirus, specifically, COVID-19, has struck a prominent New York City law firm. One of the most prominent firms in the world announced that an unnamed law firm partner has contracted the illness.
Famous Law Firm Reacts to Infection
According to the firm, everyone who has had contact with the infected partner has received notification. Reportedly, the partner’s symptoms remain minor, and there are indications that his health is improving. The general symptoms of the virus include fever, trouble breathing, and coughing.
The firm sent all employees home and shuttered its offices. The workspace will undergo thorough sanitizing before lawyers and staffers can return. All staffers will work remotely until it’s safe for them to occupy their offices.
They join a growing list of workers and students who are now going online from home to complete their projects and assignments. There are reports of retail shelves emptying quickly of laptops, webcams, and other electronic devices favored by remote workers.
The firm says it immediately took steps to stem the spread of the disease because the health of its employees is of primary concern. There are no reports of anyone else at the firm showing symptoms. Neither is there any indication that clients or others in contact with the firm have become ill.
This incident marks the first known case of a member of one of the Biglaw firms testing positive for the virus. Since the illness reached the U.S., various firms have been taking precautionary measures such as curtailing business trips.
New York Authorities Announce Cautionary Measures
As concern over the disease mounts, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has placed the city under a state of emergency. He said that taking that step wasn’t done lightly, but the exponential growth of the infection rate warrants the action.
The state of New York now has over 400 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. In response to the threat, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has ordered restrictions on public gatherings, limiting most of them to 500 people.
The City That Never Sleeps Goes Quiet
Not surprisingly, law firms are canceling many of their planned events though some were likely to have invitation lists of less than 500 guests. Even New York City’s famed Broadway theaters have shut down until mid-April.
New York City’s ordinarily crowded public spaces have become uncharacteristically empty. Subway trains, buses, and tourist locales like Times Square are ghost towns. One of the few places to spot a crowd is the grocery store, as concerned citizens wait in line to purchase anything left on the shelves.