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Biden and Sanders tell staff to work from home because of coronavirus

Biden a step closer to clinching nomination
Joe Biden a step closer to clinching Democratic nomination 13:04

Joe Biden plans to stay at his home in Wilmington, traveling only in the coming days to the debate in Washington on Sunday, campaign staff told CBS News Thursday. Biden's campaign is also instructing employees in field offices across the country to work from home, in light of the threat posed by COVID-19, according to a memo obtained by CBS News. The campaign is giving state-based staff the option of returning to their homes and said it would help with their travel.

For those who don't have permanent residences, the Biden campaign will offer "remote office pods" that allow staff to live and work together.

Beginning Saturday, all of the Biden campaign's offices —field and headquarters — will be closed to the public, the memo said. Organizing voters will be carried out through phone banking, texting, virtual events and other models.

The campaign plans to continue holding small gatherings, like house parties and roundtables if people who have been exposed to coronavirus do not take part. 

All fundraisers will become "virtual fundraisers indefinitely," the memo said.

In the same vein, Bernie Sanders' communications director, Mike Casca, released a statement Thursday afternoon saying, "In light of concerns about coronavirus and out of an abundance of caution for our staff, volunteers and supporters, the Sanders campaign has asked all staff to work from home and will no longer hold large events or door-to-door canvasses, instead moving to digital formats and outreach wherever possible."

The Trump campaign, too, is now giving campaign staffers the option of working remotely, according to a campaign official.

"The Trump campaign is built on data and uses technology to its highest advantages, so (it) is better positioned to virtually engage voters than any other campaign," the official said, touting the campaign's digital prowess in a statement. "We have a huge advantage over Democrats and are well on our way toward our goal of two million trained volunteers, which means we already have an army we can mobilize to help re-elect the President." 

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