An employee in the London office of Big Four accountant Deloitte has tested positive for coronavirus.
Staff at Deloitte’s UK offices were told the news yesterday by chief executive Richard Houston.
The individual contracted coronavirus during a personal trip to Asia.
Deloitte said it was “deep cleaning” one floor of its 1 New Street Square offices in the City of London.
All staff on the affected floor were asked to go home with immediate effect to allow deep cleaning of the floor and shared areas throughout the building.
The firm said a small number of staff who had been in contact with the affected employee had been asked to work from home. It said the person had not come into contact with any clients.
Other staff have been told they can work from home if they would prefer, but the office has not been closed.
Houston said in an email to staff seen by City A.M.: “We’ve just received confirmation that a colleague . . . has tested positive for Covid-19. Following the diagnosis they are now in hospital and receiving good care.”
He said the news was “unsettling” and said Deloitte was working with Public Health England on its response.
Deloitte said Public Health England did not recommend cancelling events, meetings or closing any of its offices. However it said it had decided to cancel or move events from the affected building “as a temporary measure”.
It said it was keeping this guidance under review as “this is a fast-moving situation”.
Staff on the affected floor were last night asked to go home with immediate effect. The email said the floor would be “deep cleaned” overnight and reopened today.
Workers in the London offices were also asked to “limit non-essential movement” between its buildings.
A Deloitte spokesperson said: “Deloitte has been closely monitoring and managing the Covid-19 situation in order to respond as necessary. The health and safety of our people and clients is our top priority.
“One of the floors in our offices has recently been impacted, with a member of staff being confirmed with Covid-19 after returning from a personal trip to Asia. The member of staff is now in hospital and receiving good care.
“We have taken precautionary measures based on our firm-wide guidelines and advice from Public Health England.
“We continue to monitor the situation and will adjust our guidance as necessary.”
The Financial Times first reported the email from the firm’s chief executive.
Last week oil company Chevron sent home 300 staff from its Canary Wharf offices over fears one of its employees may have caught the novel coronavirus Void-19.
On Thursday, all 1,100 staff at law firm Baker McKenzie’s Ludgate Hill offices were told to work from home after fears a staff member had caught coronavirus.
The suspected case was a false alarm and the firm’s staff have returned to work.