Employees at SK hynix told to self-quarantine

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Employees at SK hynix told to self-quarantine

About 800 SK hynix employees in Icheon, Gyeonggi, have been ordered to quarantine themselves after officials discovered that one of the chipmaker’s new recruits was in close contact with a coronavirus patient in Daegu, the company announced Thursday.

The number of people infected with the fast-spreading, deadly virus has surged in Daegu over the past few days, with most of the new infections related to a large, controversial religious organization in the city. Out of 31 new cases reported Thursday morning, 30 were in Daegu and neighboring North Gyeongsang, according to the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SK hynix ordered self-quarantine for 280 employees Wednesday, but decided to expand the scope to include anyone that came in direct or indirect contact with the employee in question. The company also closed the education center and hospital inside its Icheon campus, where about 18,000 employees work.

The regional health authority categorized the new recruit as possibly infected with the virus, after learning the employee had spent the night at a coronavirus patient’s residence Saturday. Another recruit was also sent to a nearby hospital for testing after showing symptoms of pneumonia.

SK hynix has yet to determine whether it will continue to require the large-scale self-quarantine for its employees if those two employees test negative for the virus.

The company said its chip factory in Icheon will stay in operation as normal.

BY KO JUN-TAE [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]

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