COVID shutdown: Twitter closes San Francisco and New York offices as Delta coronavirus cases surge

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Twitter has closed its San Francisco and New York offices as COVID-19 cases surge from the highly contagious delta variant, the latest sign that companies are rethinking their reopening plans and taking new precautions against the coronavirus spread.

The closures come just two weeks after the social media company, encouraged by rising COVID vaccination rates, reopened the offices at 50% capacity after more than 16 months of employees working from home.

"After careful consideration of the CDC's updated guidelines, and in light of current conditions, Twitter has made the decision to close our opened offices in New York and San Francisco as well as pause future office reopenings, effective immediately," the said in a statement to USA TODAY.

Twitter said it would continue to monitor "local conditions."

The delta variant could spur more office closures. Its spread has also led to U.S. companies delaying reopening plans, while others are only allowing employees who have been vaccinated to return to the office.

Apple CEO Tim Cook had planned for employees to return to the office three days a week in September. He now says employees will not return to the office until October or later. Google said it would delay the return to the until mid-October.

Earlier Wednesday, Google and Facebook said they would make vaccines mandatory for employees in the U.S. who work in offices.

They are among the largest private companies to make vaccinations a requirement. Both companies said they would make exceptions for medical and other reasons.

Unvaccinated Americans account for the majority of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization as the delta variant spreads.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Tuesday that vaccinated people begin wearing masks again in some indoor spaces.

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