Nintendo of America has confirmed that an employee from its Redmond-based studio in Washington has tested positive for coronavirus. All other employees who had contact with them are now in self-quarantine even if asymptomatic, Nintendo wrote in a statement sent to The Washington Post.
Upon learning the diagnosis, Nintendo of America alerted the public health authorities and is working with them to take necessary measures.
“Nintendo of America is supporting this individual as they recover and will continue to take precautions to safeguard the health and well-being of all our employees and the broader community,” the statement from Nintendo reads.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially classified coronavirus as a global pandemic. Over 135,000 people worldwide have contracted the virus and nearly 5,000 have died, with over 1,000 confirmed cases across the United States. The stock market has dropped sharply, sporting events have been canceled en masse and popular attractions like Walt Disney World closed due to coronavirus concerns.
Inside the video game industry, coronavirus has had a drastic effect, with event cancellations including the massive video game convention E3 and the postponement of the 2020 Game Developers Conference. Esports haven’t gone unscathed either, with the Overwatch League, Call of Duty League and League of Legends pro circuit canceling live events and shifting competition to an online only format.
Nintendo is taking “the precautionary step” to allow its California and Washington-based employees to work from home, and the company says it is continuing to “closely monitor COVID-19 developments” and that they will share “concerns and support for those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.”