Coronavirus strikes journalists, others change way they work

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This image released by CBS News shows Rome-based correspondent Seth Doane, who revealed Monday, March 16, 2020, that he was one of the network's six employees to test positive for coronavirus. Italy is one of the worst-hit countries in the world. (Jeffrey Neira/CBS via AP)

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Six people at CBS News have tested positive for coronavirus, including a correspondent stationed in Italy, as media organizations fought Monday against the same epidemic they're charged with describing.

Five employees with the virus work in CBS' New York offices, where most of its journalists were ordered to stay away as a result.

“Everyone works remotely unless specifically requested to come in,” CBS News President Susan Zirinsky said in a memo to her staff.

ABC News said Monday that a journalist who worked on the network's coverage team of the outbreak in Seattle had tested positive for coronavirus. The person, who works in ABC's Los Angeles bureau, has been isolated since last week and has suffered only mild symptoms.

The network said it has told its entire Seattle coverage team to stay home and has closed its Los Angeles bureau for a thorough cleaning.

Meanwhile, at NBC, an employee who worked on the “Today” show's third hour tested positive, forcing the show's anchors Craig Melvin and Al Roker and others who came into contact with the person to be ordered to isolate in their homes as a result.

The “Today” show's 7 a.m. anchors, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, came to work but kept their distance. They sat several feet apart from each other as the show opened Monday, saying they were setting an example by following guidelines for social distancing.

“It does matter,” Kotb said. “We're practicing that at home, we're practicing that with our children and we want to practice that at work because it's important.”