Microsoft has called on its employees in the US to work from home

The decision is in response to established cases of coronavirus in Seattle and California.

Microsoft has joined a growing number of US companies calling on employees to work from home to curb exposure to the coronavirus epidemic. The decision is in response to cases near Microsoft Headquarters in Seattle and California, Reuters reports.

Microsoft has asked many of its Seattle-area employees near their headquarters and in the San Francisco Bay Area to work from home, if possible, by March 25th.

"Taking these measures will ensure security and make the workplace more secure for those who need to be in place," said Executive Vice President Kurt DelBene in a company blog post aimed at employees.

The text states that some of the workers "key to being in the office or other work environment", such as those in data centers and retailers, will continue to work, and Microsoft will follow government guidance to disinfect the places where staff gather.

In addition, Microsoft urged its employees to discontinue any business trips to the areas in question, "unless they are key to Microsoft's ongoing workflow."

The tech giant claims that employees should cancel their non-essential travel to areas with active coronavirus cases, which include most of Europe, Asia, the Americas.

In the Seattle area, the total number of coronavirus cases has risen to 39, with deaths being 10, from 27 infected and 9 casualties a day earlier, authorities say. Yesterday in California, the first coronavirus death was announced.