>The ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) >pandemic> has prompted multiple music industry companies, including the Big Three labels and BMI, to advise their employees against unnecessary travel. Now, Spotify has taken its preventative measures a step further by instructing employees to work from home.
>Spotify’s founder and CEO, Daniel Ek, recently took to Twitter and revealed (in a >Swedish-language tweet>) that he’d asked Spotify employees at the Stockholm, Sweden, headquarters to work from home “for the next two weeks.” Ek also voiced his hope that other businesses in Sweden will implement similar precautions as part of a larger effort to halt the spread of COVID-19.
>An array of companies, from Facebook to Amazon and several others in between, have asked employees to work from home if they’re able to do so, until the coronavirus situation blows over. And in certain cities and countries that have been especially affected by COVID-19, such as South Korea and Hong Kong, many businesses have instituted mandatory work-from-home policies.
>Some of the music industry’s >biggest and most anticipated events>, including >SXSW>, Ultra Miami, >Coachella, and Stagecoach>, have been scrapped or delayed because of the coronavirus. Similarly, artists like BTS, Slipknot, and Pearl Jam have been forced to change their tour schedules.
>Earlier today, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially labeled the COVID-19 situation a pandemic.
>German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that “60 to 70 percent” of the German population will come down with the newest coronavirus strain, though this estimate hasn’t been seconded by international health authorities. To date, 1,296 of Germany’s approximately 83 million citizens have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
>Since the first cases of COVID-19 emerged in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, about 115,000 diagnoses have come to light, roughly 1,100 of which are in the United States.
>Besides reclassifying COVID-19 as a pandemic, the mentioned WHO report noted that “more than 90 percent of cases are in just four countries, and two of those—China and the Republic of Korea—have significantly declining epidemics.”
>It was also indicated in the report that “countries can still change the course of the pandemic,” and that many of the steps that are currently being taken will help to reduce the infection’s prevalence.