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As businesses across Los Angeles temporarily close or ask employees to work from home to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, the city’s more than 50,000 government employees are still being asked to go to work, with several exceptions, according to emergency guidelines issued by the city’s personnel department.

City employees can’t refuse to go to work out of fear that they’ll be infected with the virus, Wendy Macy, general manager of the city’s personnel department, wrote in a memo to department heads Friday. Telecommuting options are available for some employees, though, the memo said.

Alex Comisar, spokesman for Mayor Eric Garcetti, said the city is taking guidance from public health experts on its leave policy.

“The city has a duty to deliver critical services throughout this public health crisis,” Comisar said. “That means we need healthy workers on the job.”

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