CNN closes offices as Covid-19 cases rise

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CNN is closing its offices to nonessential employees, network President Jeff Zucker told employees in a memo Saturday, as Covid-19 cases rise at the network and nationwide.

Employees who don’t need to be in the office to produce shows or provide other essential functions for the network’s broadcast operations will be asked to work from home, Mr. Zucker said, citing a surge of cases of Covid-19 at CNN.

"If your job does not require you to be in the office in order to do it, please work from elsewhere," Mr. Zucker said in the memo.

Mr. Zucker said the network would be making changes to studios and control rooms to "minimize the number of people in our spaces."

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The network, which had been using its full-scale studios for its shows, will go back to using "flash studios." These are small studios that can be operated remotely by fewer people, according to a person familiar with the matter.

CNN says it will go back to using smaller studios amid efforts to limit Covid-19 transmission.(PHOTO: DANIEL SLIM/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES) (Getty Images)

Mr. Zucker said employees in the office will be required to wear masks unless they are eating or drinking or in a room by themselves.

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Before Covid-19 cases began soaring, CNN employees were allowed to work from the office on a voluntary basis, according to the person. The network has set a tentative return-to-office date in January, the person said, and it isn’t known if that date will change.

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Like most news networks, CNN requires employees to be vaccinated to work from the office. Earlier this year, Mr. Zucker referred to that requirement as a "zero-tolerance policy" and told employees in a memo that the network had fired three staffers who came to work without first getting vaccinated.

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