Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath’s Washington offices remain closed over coronavirus concerns raised by the positive tests of two visitors, even as the newly-merged law firm elects to reopen its 21 other offices across the country.
Forged from the combination of Faegre Baker Daniels and Drinker Biddle & Reath last month, the firm had closed all of its offices on Tuesday as a precautionary measure before reversing course on most of them Wednesday, it said in a statement.
The two D.C. offices are a vestige of its premerger past. Visitors to the former Drinker Biddle outpost on Washington’s K Street on March 2 and 3 later were later confirmed to have been infected.
“Because the scope of each guest’s contact with firm colleagues was not readily known, and because our attorneys, consultants and professionals have been traveling cross-office to support firm integration efforts, we chose to exercise caution” while evaluating the situation, the statement said.
No firm employee has tested positive for the virus, according to the firm.
The World Health Organization on Wednesday declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. Separately, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci told a congressional panel the contagion is 10 times more lethal than seasonal flu.
Faegre Drinker has gained advice from a board-certified infectious disease expert with specialized knowledge in communicable diseases, including coronavirus and workers cleaned and disinfected each office prior to its colleagues returning, the firm said.
The firm hasn’t said how long its Washington offices will remain closed, but added that they will monitor the status of those offices daily.