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Coronavirus brings changes, concerns about social distancing at Columbus' big employers

COLUMBUS, Ohio — If the 2020 Census were conducted today in downtown Columbus, the headcount would be low — like really low. Columbus News Updates
That’s because more and more employers are making moves to have their employees work from home in an effort to “flatten the curve” and help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Columbus’ Arena District felt like a ghost town Thursday afternoon — pedestrians were scarce. So too were cars around the Nationwide Insurance building.



Coronavirus in Columbus 


“It's really quiet around. It's a ghost town. It's pretty crowded around here usually,” Williams said. “Everyone has been told to work for home if they can.”
Williams works in information technology at Nationwide Insurance and said he was only of only a dozen or so employees at the downtown headquarters.
He said he was working to repair devices to help Nationwide’s thousands of employees be able to work virtually. Columbus Medical News
“This is the first time we have ever done this — we are trying to get everybody as much as possible to work from home. And that's a big deal,” Williams said.
Nationwide Insurance also began checking employees’ temperatures Thursday — a day after Governor Mike DeWine called on employers in Ohio to do so in an effort to slow the spread of Columbus COVID-19.
Joe Case, a spokesman for Nationwide, said that the company will check employees’ temperatures for the associates who report into work, but did not provide a figure of how many that might be — calling it a “tiny fraction of our regular workforce.”
But 10 Investigates also received complaints from viewers who expressed concern about social distancing practices at other large employers within the Columbus area News.
On Wednesday, 10 Investigates spotted a large number of cars in the parking lot of the corporate Chase location near Easton. A company spokeswoman said Wednesday that “for our employees who need to continue to work on-site because their work cannot be done from home, we are offering":
  • Free meals in the café
  • Two paid days off to help in this challenging situation
  • Spreading them out in the work area
  • Casual dress at work
  • Reviewing additional alternatives
In response to follow-up questions about employees’ concerns, the spokeswoman said she would get back with us Thursday.
10 Investigates also received a tip about a large number of people still working in the call center at the Spectrum office on Olentangy River Road.
State and federal officials have urged people not to gather in large groups in an effort to quell the spread. Columbus Press Release Distribution 

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