A staffer at the Fox Business Channel tested positive for coronavirus on Friday, the CEO and president announced in a statement. A second staffer has now also tested positive, the network said Saturday.
“We wanted to inform you that we just learned less than an hour ago that one of our FOX Business colleagues on the 20th floor tested positive for COVID-19. Friday, March 13th was the last day this employee was working in the office,” network executives Suzanne Scott and Jay Wallace said in a statement Friday.
Staff who had contact with the employees have been told to self-quarantine for 14 days, and the areas where the staffers worked are being deep cleaned, the network said.
“We are fully supporting the employee and wishing them a speedy recovery. As we have said from day one of this crisis, the health and safety of our employees and their families is our number one concern,” the statement by Scott and Wallace said.
Dobbs in self-quarantine
Fox Business host Lou Dobbs had contact with the first infected staffer and is now in self-quarantine, The Hill reported.
“Lou feels well, he has no symptoms, but out of an abundance of caution, he and his team are taking the necessary precautions,” fellow host David Asman said, adding that the channel is fully supporting the staffer.
Fox Business Channel also announced that it has ceased production on some of its shows, including “Bulls and Bears,” while “Lou Dobbs Tonight” will still air on the channel.
The move allows for fewer staff to be on site as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked companies to reduce staff to 25% of normal numbers to allow more social distancing while at work.
Virus impacts media
CNN, Vox, and The New York Times have all had staffers test positive for the virus in recent days, the channel said. NBC News had a long-time staff member die after testing positive for the virus.
New York City and New York state have been hard hit by the virus, with the state currently having about 40% of confirmed cases in the U.S.
Around the country, news media staff have been working from home when possible, but staff are still needed on-site to facilitate broadcasts.
Meanwhile, cable news is seeing a huge ratings boost as home-bound Americans clamor for news about the coronavirus outbreak and the government’s response.