The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it is “encouraging” all employees at the agency’s Washington headquarters facility to telework until further notice after it discovered late Monday that a headquarters employee may have the COVID-19 coronavirus.

While the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has asked Federal agencies to take steps to make as many employees as possible ready to telework, it has not publicly issued instructions for agencies to keep employees at home. The SEC appears to be the first Federal agency in the Washington area to have encouraged all D.C. staff to work from home.

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“Late Monday afternoon, the SEC was informed that a Washington, D.C. Headquarters employee was treated for respiratory symptoms on Monday. The employee was informed by a physician that the employee may have the coronavirus and was referred for testing,” the agency spokesperson said.

“Amongst other precautions, the SEC is encouraging Headquarters employees to telework until further guidance,” the spokesperson said. “Even with increased telework, the SEC remains able and committed to fully executing its mission on behalf of investors, including monitoring market function and working closely with other regulators and market participants,” the spokesperson added.

The agency employs about 4,200 people, but the exact headcount for its D.C. headquarters was not immediately available.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.