F5 is closing its downtown Seattle headquarters tower for cleaning after it learned an employee had been in contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19, an illness caused by the new coronavirus.

Though the employee tested negative for the corona virus, the company will go forward with the cleaning and closure out of caution, a spokesman from the company said early Monday morning

“We are committed to supporting this employee’s health, as well as protecting their privacy,” company spokesman Rob Gruening said in an email Monday.

“Our concern is with the health and safety of our employees, customers, partners and communities worldwide; and we have and will continue to put in place public safety measures. This includes sanitizing our offices and closing the F5 Tower for business on March 2.”

Gruening said F5 is encouraging local employees to work from home, postponing large events or replacing them with virtual meetings, and prohibiting nonessential international and domestic business travel.


The company has postponed a March 3 meeting with analysts and investors in New York City, and over the weekend postponed an annual user conference that had been scheduled for March 16-19 in Orlando, Fla. In a Monday statement about those moves, the company said, “We believe that hosting a large group event drawing participants from many regions is not appropriate at this time.”

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