3 WHYY journalists in self-quarantine for possible exposure to coronavirus

WHYY on Sixth Street in Philadelphia. (Brian Hickey/WHYY)

WHYY on Sixth Street in Philadelphia. (Brian Hickey/WHYY)

Three WHYY journalists who attended a conference last week in New Orleans have been asked to self-quarantine after conference organizers reported Tuesday that one of the 1,000-plus attendees had tested positive for coronavirus. None of the WHYY employees show any symptoms of the virus.

WHYY staff were notified in a late-night communication shortly after the station was made aware of the result. All staff at the station were given the choice to work from home Wednesday while cleaning crews sanitized the facility.

“These steps are being taken out of an abundance of caution to safeguard the health of our staff,” said WHYY CEO Bill Marrazzo.

The annual National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting conference, or NICAR, was held at the Marriott Hotel on Canal Street in New Orleans last week and organized by the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) nonprofit. In a statement yesterday, IRE reported that an attendee had tested presumptively positive for COVID-19.

“This attendee has mild symptoms and is expected to make a full recovery,” the statement read. “They are self-quarantining at home for 14 days, as recommended by health professionals. The test has been sent to the Centers for Disease Control for confirmation. Until the test result is confirmed by the CDC, which can take up to a week, it is considered a presumptive positive.”

Marrazzo said WHYY is seeking additional guidance from local health officials.

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