As if beleagured office leasing company WeWork didn’t have enough problems, workers at least seven of its Manhattan locations have been tested positive for the coronavirus, The Post has learned.
In the last week, WeWork has scrambled to put out fires in six offices spaces it rents, some of which have closed for cleaning only for a new case to pop up the very next day, The Post has learned. The latest cases add to the first apparent case, which cropped up earlier this month.
On Wednesday evening, employees at three offices — located at 575 Fifth Ave. in Midtown, 524 Broadway in Soho and 85 Broad Street in the Financial District — were warned that individuals at their locations were infected, according to internal memos viewed by The Post.
The 22nd floor of the Fifth Avenue location was closed overnight on Wednesday for a “deep cleaning … in line with CDC and other relevant guidelines,” but reopened Thursday morning, according to WeWork’s email.
Hours after reopening, however, it informed workers that an “unrelated” case had been discovered on the 14th floor, which has since been shuttered.
On Thursday, March 12, WeWork contacted employees at two of its locations — 205 East 42nd St. and 500 7th Ave. — to inform them that individuals who had visited the offices had tested positive.
The 500 7th Ave. location received a deep clean overnight and opened the following Friday, while the 42nd St. WeWork was cleaned over the weekend and reopened on Monday.
According to the WeWork coronavirus website, the office at 214 W. 29th St. was also shuttered Thursday “until further notice.”
And all four floors of the WeWork office at 401 Park Avenue South were shuttered “until further notice” after a worker who was there as recently as March 12 tested positive for the coronavirus.
As The Post first reported two weeks ago, WeWork’s first coronavirus case appears to have cropped up at 51st Street and Lexington Avenue two weeks ago when a worker there was forced to self-quarantine after learning they may have been in contact with someone who was infected with the coronavirus.
The quarantined employee later tested positive, emails viewed by The Post confirmed.
The 10th floor of the Soho WeWork office was closed “until further notice,” the company said. Until the cleaning is complete, employees will not have access to the floor, and won’t unable to retrieve their personal belongings.
The Financial District office had four floors in its building closed off after an individual with the virus was in the space on Friday, March 13, per an internal memo.
Employees at other offices on the property at the time said they were left in the dark about the possible health threat, with a man who identified himself as the building’s head of security saying he wasn’t notified of the health situation.
New York state now has more than 4,000 positive coronavirus diagnoses, including more than 2,400 in New York City.
WeWork says it has a “robust global emergency preparedness plan in place in the event any member or employee has contracted the coronavirus,” including additional sanitizing products and “more frequent wiping and disinfection.”
The growing epidemic comes as WeWork’s largest investor, SoftBank, is considering pulling out of a $3 billion bid to buy more shares in the company.
The pullout would be a major blow for WeWork’s investors, who last year watched the company’s valuation plummet by tens of billions of dollars amid a disastrous IPO attempt and a cash crunch that pushed it to the brink of bankruptcy.
Details of the potential withdrawal were first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
In a memo to employees, WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani and executive chairman Marcelo Claure assured employees that SoftBank’s tender offer to investors would have “no bearing” on the Japanese conglomerate’s commitment to WeWork and “does not impact our current liquidity and financial strength of the business.”