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Companies and governments prevent and expand teleworking by Omicron variant

Companies of all sizes are rethinking their plans so that their workers return to offices while the new variant of the coronavirus, omicron, brings a new layer of uncertainty.

Alphabet’s Google and Ford Co., the second-largest automaker in the United States, are among those that have again delayed their plans to return to work in person, while others whose employees were already at their desks are considering new measures such as the mandatory use of a mask.

In recent days, authorities in Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Sweden have asked the population to work from home whenever possible due to concerns about the variant.

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, and chauffeur-driven car company Lyft announced that they will allow their workers to delay going back to their offices when they fully reopen early next year.

Meta maintains its plans to reopen its headquarters at the end of January, but its employees will have until June to join. Lyft, for its part, will not require presence throughout 2022, although its offices will be operational again in February.

Janelle Gale, Meta’s vice president of human resources, pointed out that this latest decision recognizes that “some are not ready to return.”

EU SUM 43 CASES

The US has so far detected 43 cases of the Omicron variant, most of them mild, although one of the patients had to be hospitalized, according to data published yesterday by the Centers for Control and Prevention (CDC).

Of the group of patients, 14 of them had traveled outside the country during the 14 days prior to having symptoms of COVID-19 or having tested positive.

The CDC indicated that they have no record of any deaths from this variant, which was first found in South Africa.

AP AND AFP

PHOTO: EFE

MAAZ

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