Bayer AG said Tuesday it will temporarily close two New Jersey locations, and two more in Missouri, over concerns that an employee may have contracted the novel coronavirus. This follows New Jersey’s announcement of its first casualty from the COVID-19 virus, a male patient in his late 60s who died Tuesday morning at a Hackensack Meridian Health facility.
Bayer said that it temporarily closed its Whippany and Morristown campuses to implement additional common-area cleaning measures, as a proactive measure, and out of an abundance of caution. Bayer is also working in close consultation with state health officials.
In a statement Bayer said: “We take the risk of the coronavirus seriously and are taking all necessary measures to keep our employees and neighbors safe. The primary goal is to ensure the health and safety of our employees, but at the same time to act with reason and judgment.”
“To be clear, Bayer has received no indication at this time that any employee has been confirmed to be infected with coronavirus.”
Including the deceased man, New Jersey now has 16 reported cases of the novel coronavirus. Officials said 31 people are “under investigation.” On Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency.