No one knows how big coronavirus impact will be

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Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO testifies during a Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing where they testified on the influence of foreign operations on social media on September 5, 2018.

Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call Group | Getty Images

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg on Monday said no one knows how big the impact coronavirus will on the marketing industry.

Asked by Bloomberg’s Emily Chang on Monday how Facebook’s ad business is positioned to weather the downturn caused by the spread of COVID-19, Sandberg offered the following: “This is not going to business as usual, and the marketing industry is certainly going to see a real impact. I don’t think anyone knows how big. So we’re going to watch and look.”

“We know that we can keep paying our employees, paying our contractors, we know we can keep the lights on,” Sandberg said.

Sandberg added that it’s Facebook’s priority to protect its employees by having them work from home while keeping its services up and running for its users.

The coronavirus has already had a massive impact on the company. Shares of the company are down 28.86% year-to-date as uncertainties around coronavirus drag down the markets.

On Feb. 27, Facebook canceled its F8 annual software developers conference. In early March, Facebook began telling its employees to work from home and pulled out other conferences. Earlier this month, Facebook temporarily ban ads and listings for medical face masks.

Around the world, there are more than 181,000 cases of the coronavirus with at least 7,113, according to Johns Hopkins University. In the U.S., there are at least 4,281 cases, and there have been at least 74 deaths, according to Johnson Hopkins University.

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