Equinix Statement to Customers and Partners Regarding Coronavirus


Updated: February 25, 2021

Due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), Equinix continues to maintain procedures that reflect our company’s focus on:

  • The health and safety of our customers, partners and employees
  • The continuity of our business services, especially infrastructure supporting the health, financial, government, and technology sectors critical to maintaining public health and stabilizing the economy
  • Compliance with governmental regulations and local public health guidance and ordinances

Equinix has extensive business continuity, health and safety and pandemic plans developed with the intent to provide seamless business operations for customers and partners throughout this situation, including our goal that all data centers remain fully operational and equipped with the necessary equipment and supplies. In addition, Equinix is closely following the recommendations of government and public health authorities and will update its policies and procedures as appropriate. This is a fluid and evolving situation and there is no guarantee the current response as outlined below will not be changed or effected as the situation unfolds or guidance has changed.

We greatly appreciate your understanding and cooperation throughout this global pandemic. Please check this site often and refresh the page by clicking the button on your browser to load the most recent content. If you have additional questions regarding our response to the coronavirus, please contact your Customer Success Manager.

Equinix Business Continuity Program Overview

Equinix Business Continuity Program FAQ

Equinix Pandemic Plan Overview

Equinix IBX Access Status Grid

 

Frequently Asked Questions

IBX Access

All Equinix IBX locations worldwide are operational at this time, and customers are able to access the sites for work visits. However, visitors globally must follow enhanced screening protocols and adhere to health and safety requirements as defined below to enter any IBX location (please see question 2 for more information). In addition, appointments are required to access sites in the Americas and EMEA, a policy we expect to remain in place through at least August 31, 2021 (please see question 3 for more information). Asia Pacific IBX locations allow access without appointments.

Policies and procedures apply to all visitors, customers, customer contractors and non-critical Equinix employees, contractors and vendors to the IBX facility.

While access for work visits is permitted, please note that conference rooms and customer care area breakrooms remain closed and that tours are suspended in most, but not all, IBX locations globally. Please check the Equinix IBX Access Status Grid for the most up-to-date information by data center location (please see question 8 for more information about conference room access). 

IBX warehouse facilities globally are closed for all customer access, including package pickup, however Equinix will continue to accept shipments at all IBXs and will temporarily waive Smart Hands ticket fees to deliver the shipments to customer cages or transitional space within the facility where appointment-only policies are in place. Cage delivery timing and access will be coordinated with the customer. Secure cabinet customers will also be able to continue to receive shipments at the IBX.

We continue to encourage customers to limit the number of visits, visitors and the duration of visits to our sites whenever possible and to support virtual tours and Smart Hands services as an alternative to sending representatives to our IBXs. To open a Smart Hands ticket, please visit the Equinix Customer Portal

Our on-site IBX staff continue to serve all customers through the execution of tickets of Smart Hands, Trouble, Cross Connects, and Inbound/Outbound Shipments. Our objective is to complete all incoming orders, but standard delivery intervals will be suspended, and all customer-submitted tickets will be scheduled for completion on an individual case basis.

Equinix data centers globally are operational at this time. We have implemented the following enhanced access protocols to protect the health and safety of our customers, partners and employees, maintain the continuity of our services and align with governmental regulations and public health guidance. 

The following policies and procedures apply to all visitors, customers, customer contractors and non-critical Equinix employees, contractors and vendors to the IBX facility:

Screening questions
When you visit, be prepared to answer questions about your general health and if you are wearing a multi-layered face covering. Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms, including fever, or having knowledge that they have been recently exposed to someone who has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 will be not allowed access. Equinix will follow local health authority guidance regarding timing for when a customer can re-enter the facility.

Temperature checks
All employees and visitors to the IBX are required to have their temperature checked by the security staff using no-contact infrared thermometers or a thermal camera. Visitors must have a temperature less than 38° C / 100.4° F to be admitted to the IBX. Those with a body temperature 38° C / 100.4° F or higher will not be allowed to enter the facility. Please note that some IBX locations may have lower temperature thresholds.  Criteria to allow return to the facility will be based on local public health regulations.

To expedite visitors’ security check-in in sites where appointments are required, Equinix is automating portions of the IBX health screening process by enhancing the self-check-in kiosks to include a no-touch, thermal temperature scan and a mask compliance verification scan. The security officer will view the data to validate that entry requirements have been met; no personal health data will be saved.

Please note that to maintain capacity thresholds, self-check-in capabilities will not be enabled at the kiosk until the start time that is shown in the work visit order notification.

The enhanced kiosks will be available starting March 1, 2021, initially at IBXs in the United States and at TR2, with sites in EMEA, Brazil, Columbia, Mexico and the rest of Canada to follow. Equinix will notify customers, partners and vendors via IBX Advisory on a site-by-site basis prior to enhanced self-check-in kiosk activation. 

Multi-layer mask requirements
Masks or face coverings are required
to enter all Equinix data centers globally and must be worn by all visitors, customers, customer contractors, Equinix employees, contractors and vendors at all times for the duration of a visit to the IBX. Following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recent recommendations regarding layered masks, and in consideration of updated guidance from health authorities in other jurisdictions in which Equinix operates, effective March 1, 2021 or sooner if local guidance mandates, masks are required to the meet one of the following standards:

  • a cloth mask with multiple layers of fabric
  • a single-layer cloth mask underneath a single-layer cloth mask
  • a disposable mask underneath a single-layer cloth mask
  • a minimum two-ply surgical-style mask

Masks that have an exhalation vent are not permitted. Masks should be form fitting, with edges of the inner mask against the face when wearing two masks. Additional strategies for proper mask fitting include wearing a mask with moldable nose wire and knotting the ear loops. 

All visitors to an Equinix IBX are strongly encouraged to wear masks that meet the above standards when traveling to the IBX. If, upon check-in, a mask is deemed not to meet these standards or you do not know if your mask meets thse standards, Equinix will provide a disposable multi-layer surgical style mask so that you may gain entry to the site and ask that you wear it at all times for the duration of your visit.

Elevated hygiene
All employees and visitors at all our IBXs are to practice elevated levels of personal hygiene prior to entering, and while in, the data center:

  • Hand sanitizers have been placed at the security counter of all data centers
  • Handwashing facilities are available
  • Follow all social distancing protocols and related directions from Equinix security
  • Ladders, hand tools, crash carts and server lifts are available for loan upon request. Gloves must be worn at all times when retrieving, using and returning loaned equipment. Gloves and disinfectant spray or wipes will be provided. All cleaning cloths or wipes must be disposed of after the cleaning and not stored for re-use. To borrow equipment, please work with the site to check out.

IBX sites in the Americas and EMEA require appointments for work visits. The decision to implement an appointment-only policy was made in accordance with our business continuity plans. The policy permits customers to continue to access the IBX for work visits while enabling Equinix to reduce and monitor traffic so that we can uphold the social distancing standards required to protect the health and safety of our customers, partners, vendors and employees while maintaining the continuity of our services.

Operating under this policy, customers, including those who previously have had permanent access to an IBX, are required to schedule an appointment using the Equinix Customer Portal (ECP), which will display available timeslots based on current IBX capacity thresholds for health and safety. Tickets will be automatically approved if available and progressed once submitted. If the date and time requested is unavailable, please open a Smart Hands ticket in the Equinix Customer Portal. Customers who do not have access to the Equinix Customer Portal may contact the Global Service Desk for support. 

Upon arrival at the IBX, customers and visitors should proceed to their cage/cabinet, conduct their work and then exit the facility as quickly and efficiently as possible. If Equinix employees or security are escorting a customer representative to their cage or cabinet, they will do so while maintaining a safe distance. We are also requesting that no more than five people per customer come to an IBX in a single visit. 

Visitors with permanent access can use their security profile QR code to check in for any work visits associated with that profile in sites requiring appointments, eliminating the need to manage multiple codes for work visit appointments. If the visitor has more than one security profile for different customer accounts, only the work visits for that account’s QR code will display when checking in.

Flex/Office Space customers are pre-approved to schedule a multi-visit ticket, via ECP, for normal access and appointment-only sites. This work visit allows them to use their flex/office space and only access the colocation floor to address issues/alarms upon notifying IBX security. Flex/office space customers may have a maximum of five people within that space, but they must maintain a safe distance of at least 6 feet/2 meters apart.

We understand that these services were designed to be available during difficult times, however we strongly encourage customers to reduce the amount of traffic and duration of visits. While on site, please follow all posted health and safety guidelines including maintaining a safe distance of not less than two meters (six feet) from others while on site.

Equinix will continue to accept shipments at all IBXs and will temporarily waive Smart Hands ticket fees to deliver the shipments to customer cages or transitional space within the facilities where appointment-only policies are in place. Cage delivery timing and access will be coordinated with the customer. Secure cabinet customers will also be able to continue to receive shipments at the IBX. See IBX shipment policies question below.

In accordance with the recommendations from local government and health organizations regarding social distancing and limited interaction, Equinix is changing has adjusted our shipment policies as follows:

  • IBX warehouse facilities globally will be closed for all customer access. We will continue to accept shipments from carriers 
  • Equinix will deliver shipments to the customer’s space (Private Cage or Cabinet) or to a transitional space within the IBX facility
    • During this time, we will make all reasonable efforts to honor existing space (Cage/Cab) access restrictions
    • In certain local markets, we will work with customers regarding specific hourly restrictions 
    • Smart Hands services remain available for unboxing and installation within your space (if desired)
  • If a package is required during a pre-scheduled visit to the facility, please inform the security officer at time of check-in 
  • All outbound shipments will be collected from the customer’s space or transitional space to be handed to the carrier

To minimize the risk of transmission in areas where multiple people congregate and to adhere to social distancing guidelines, Equinix has temporarily suspended the ability for customers to book conference rooms and continues limiting access to in most, but not all, IBX locations globally. Please check the Equinix IBX Access Status Grid for the most up-to-date information by data center location.

Where conference room access is permitted, reservations are required and can be secured, with consideration for occupancy limitations, via the Equinix Customer Portal. Customers who do not have access to the Equinix Customer Portal may contact the Global Service Desk for support.

Equinix uses various health and safety metrics and considers recommendations of government and public health authorities to determine when and if conference rooms may be re-opened for booking. When all parameters are met, Equinix will issue an IBX Advisory to alert customers that conference room booking has resumed for that site.

Please note we will update our policies and procedures as appropriate and necessary. There is no guarantee that any easing of conference room restrictions will not be changed as conditions warrant.

All other health and safety screening protocols remain in place for customers, partners, visitors, and Equinix staff to access the IBX, including temperature screening and face covering requirements. Enhanced cleaning protocols continue with increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting all high-touch surfaces and common areas.

We continue to encourage customers to limit the number of visits, visitors and the duration of visits to our sites. 

Our precautions also include the below preparations within our data centers:

  • IBX employees have been divided into teams and assigned to a designated IBX without changing workplace to provide services around-the-clock
  • Only business critical IBX personnel are allowed on site
  • Equinix has engaged business-critical vendors and partners to ensure necessary supplies and services will continue to be provided or are on standby in the case of a long-term event

Currently our IBXs are open for business globally. As the situation changes in markets where we operate, we are adapting our processes if necessary and notifying customers via an IBX Advisory in a timely manner. We continue to encourage customers to limit the number of visits, visitors and the duration of visits to our sites and to take advantage of our Smart Hands services to avoid visits to the IBX whenever possible.

As governments globally adjust COVID-19-related restrictions, please be advised that Equinix expects our current IBX access policies to remain in place through at least August 31, 2021.

Currently our IBXs are open for business globally. In the event a complete lockdown is required, Equinix is prepared to maintain the necessary on-site staffing levels required to support continuous operations.

Equinix is doing everything within our power to keep our customers, employees and environment safe and clean and our data centers operational.  

If there is a confirmed case of coronavirus within an IBX, Equinix may in some cases, depending on level of exposure, temporarily suspend access to the IBX in order to proceed with deep cleaning the facility with the goal to return the IBX to a safe standard. An IBX Advisory will be issued to customers of the impacted IBX for any confirmed exposure. 

In addition, Equinix continues to follow all local government regulations and public health guidance and, if required, will suspend access to the site(s). If this occurs, Equinix is prepared to keep staff on site to support continuous operations. 

Equinix will maintain its two-factor authentication to ensure the security posture of the IBX is not diminished, unless mandated otherwise by local authorities. We have introduced other mitigation measures to ensure elevated levels of personal hygiene including additional hand sanitizers, alcohol-based wipes and increased frequency of cleaning to high touch areas like biometric readers.

At this time, Equinix IBX employees are continuing to support all services with the exception of conference room booking and , IBX tours in most sites (please see question 8 for more information) and on-site audits since those are not deemed critical work. Please note appointment only protocols are in effect in IBX locations except Asia-Pacific. We continue to request that customers leverage our Smart Hands services as much as possible and avoid sending people to the IBX.

If we are no longer able to support our on-site services in a particular IBX, we will notify customers via an IBX Advisory with as much advance notice as possible. 

Due to the need to reduce on-site visits, Equinix is pausing support for on-site audits. We will continue to support completion of audit questionnaires when no on-site visit is required to obtain the information. We have also pre-approved a limited subset of documents for remote sharing via Box or Zoom.

The company has implemented travel restrictions for all our employees as well as remote work for all employees including non-critical IBX staff.

We encourage all customers to opt in to receive notifications and IBX Advisories. Follow these steps within the Equinix Customer Portal:

  1. Login to CustomerPortal.Equinix.com
  2. In the upper right-hand corner, click the down arrow next to your name and select “My Profile”
  3. Select the “Notification Preferences” Tab
  4. Select “IBX Notification Preferences”
  5. In the “IBX Advisory” section, ensure the “Email” box is checked
  6. Click Submit


Preventative Measures

Equinix team is and has been strictly enforcing public health recommendation regarding social distancing, use of personal protective equipment (e.g. masks, face coverings), enhanced personal hygiene, health and temperature screening and enhanced cleaning measures throughout the pandemic, which appear to continue to be effective against the new variants. 

Public health authorities are not currently recommending any new or additional precautions or measures in response to these new strains.  The Equinix COVID-19 response team is monitoring closely for any changes to public health guidance and is prepared to act accordingly.

In the event of a confirmed case of the coronavirus of an employee or visitor at any of our facilities, we would perform contact tracing and thoroughly clean and, if necessary, activate remote management of the IBX in the event there is evidence of widespreak outbreak or exposure within the IBX. Our goal is to continue to operate our business seamlessly. Once the IBX is cleaned, it will be staffed by personnel who were not on site during that period and/or who had no meaningful exposure to the index case.

Equinix will communicate with customers as soon as possible based on the specific situation and as informed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and local public health guidelines.

Yes, however if the BCTR is located at an IBX where there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19, access may be temporarily limited in order to perform contact tracing and cleaning. In addition, any restrictions regarding entry to our IBX sites as indicated in this FAQ will be also apply to BCTR areas.  We also request you to minimize the use of this space particularly for high volumes of people, considering the risk to your own employees and to other people on site.

Equinix is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other local governments to ensure our employees are allowed to travel to and access our IBX facilities during this time.  We are either already designated critical infrastructure or are in correspondence with the local governing body to ensure that we are considered part of the critical infrastructure.  DHS outlines industries which are defined as critical infrastructure industries (Communications and Information Technology & Energy) and we are advised to conduct the appropriate movement of critical infrastructure workers within and between jurisdictions.  Membership with various agencies such as CEAS are in place providing our IBX staff identification cards to carry with them while traveling to and from shifts.  

Equinix has contracts with national and local fuel suppliers which are contracted for a four-hour SLA. Fuel deliveries are taking place and have been unaffected by mandates from local government agencies as energy providers are also considered critical infrastructure industries.


Cleaning

If it is reported to Equinix that an employee, customer, partner or vendor has been exposed to and had close contact with an individual with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, they will not be permitted to enter the IBX until that person has met the current public health criteria to return to work. If they become ill, they would not be allowed access until they fully recover and meet the current public health guidelines regarding returning to work.

The Equinix COVID-19 triage team will review and evaluate the situation to determine if there is a material risk of meaningful exposure to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. After identifying the extent of the exposed individual’s time on site, persons potentially exposed and the areas visited, and bearing in mind the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines around “meaningful exposure,” Equinix will follow one of three courses of action:

  • If there is a confirmed case, all customers of that location will be notified via IBX Advisory. Relevant dates and cleaning information will be included.
  • If there is a suspected case, customers of that IBX who were potentially exposed will be notified via IBX Advisory. Relevant dates and cleaning information will be included. If we close or temporarily restrict access to the IBX (or areas within the IBX) for cleaning, an advisory will be sent to all site customers to advise of the closure; those who may have come in close contact with the confirmed case will be alerted via the same incident notification.
  • If the material risk of meaningful exposure is deemed low, no additional cleaning and/or notification will occur.

Please be aware of the new “meaningful exposure” definition as directed by the CDC as exposure to an infected or suspected infected person within six feet (two meters), and for a total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period or 10 minutes at one time.

The duration of the cleaning activities may vary depending upon the level of exposure and areas exposed. These areas may include the security check-in area, man traps, corridors, toilets and specific data halls or flex space. Equinix will only clean customer cages, cabinets and FlexSpace if specifically requested by the customer. Timing to access will be coordinated with the customer. 

The cleaning would be carried out by the contracted vendor for that site or a specialty vendor following a detailed cleaning protocol, subject to government directives, other relevant regulators and public health guidance. The cleaning crew would be escorted by security staff and will only access customer spaces if the area has been exposed to a confirmed case subject and with prior customer permissions. All efforts would be made to ensure a thorough and speedy cleaning process.

The cleaning would be carried out by the contracted vendor for the site or a specialty vendor; subject to government directives or other relevant regulations. Cleaning staff would be required to wear appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). The cleaning would include all common areas and corridors.  Equinix will only clean customer cages, cabinets and FlexSpace if specifically requested by the customer. The cleaning vendor must use approved commercial grade disinfectant on all potentially contaminated surfaces as per local public health reccomendations. All cleaning products must contain ocally approved disenfectants and all cleaning tools must be disposed of after the clean and not stored for re-use.

Yes, upon request Equinix can provide this as part of our Smart Hands offering. Equinix will typically not enter a customer cage space for cleaning and disinfection but will clean all the exterior surfaces, biometric devices and the like that would be accessed while outside of the cage. We will, however, clean/disinfect BCTR or Flex Space if requested by the customer. Equinix will likely leverage our own vendors in completion of this work, and times to complete the activity will be determined based on the specific request.

Equinix has requested all of our cleaning vendors to increase the frequency and intensity of their cleaning of our facilities and to ensure use of the appropriate approved disenfectant. This includes paying special attention to high touch items (BMR’s, door handles, etc.), community areas (restrooms, breakrooms, etc.), high traffic areas, and hard, flat horizontal surfaces. We are also encouraging the use of hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes after touching these items and those products are generally available for customer use.

If the IBX has been closed for cleaning, no. For the health and welfare of our customers, there will be no access to the data center during the cleaning period. If Equinix is conducting a deep cleaning of selected areas of the IBX, the site will remain open, but some areas may have limited accessibility.

The IBX air filters are not designed for viral filtration. They are changed per our maintenance standards.


Response

Yes, upon request Equinix can provide the standard suite of Smart Hands services.

Equinix will never disclose personal information unless required to do so by a government body or local regulations.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Equinix has implemented a new work roster for IBX employees in affected areas to minimize risk and ensure business continuity. As a part of this, all IBX employees have been divided into teams and assigned to a designated IBX without changing workplace to provide services around-the-clock. Once the IBX has been cleaned, and depending on level of exposure, Equinix can deploy non-affected staff from another IBX to support the affected IBX and re-open for customer visits.

Equinix Site Operations is in close contact with the building management in which Equinix has IBXs where the building is not owned and operated by Equinix. In the event we are informed of a suspected or confirmed case at another company in the same building, Equinix would obtain information from building management and forward that information via an IBX Advisory to the customers subscribed for alerts for that location. Equinix customers may also receive notice from the building owner or management but that will not preclude our customer notifications and advisories.

If necessary, Equinix would evacuate customers and employees in a safe and orderly manner from the building, and we would participate in a subsequent cleaning of any areas potentially contaminated if those areas included Equinix operated space depending on level of exposure. Actual procedures may vary based on the actions and policies of the building management, but Equinix will strive to inform customers throughout the process as the situation warrants.


Planning

Our objective will be to complete all incoming orders, but standard delivery intervals may be suspended based on location access status, and all customer-submitted tickets will be scheduled for completion on an individual case basis.

Equinix will work closely with our construction partners to minimize delays in the build schedule.

Equinix has redundancies built into its supply chain of vendors we intend to keep those in place. To the best of our ability, we also intend to keep stock of critical items on site to ensure repairs can be completed in a timely manner and to complete customer orders.

Masks or face coverings are required to enter all Equinix data centers globally and must be worn by all visitors, customers, customer contractors, Equinix employees, contractors and vendors for the duration of a visit to the IBX. Following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recent recommendations regarding layered masks, and in consideration of updated guidance from health authorities in other jurisdictions in which Equinix operates, effective March 1, 2021 or sooner if local guidance mandates, masks are required to the meet one of the following standards:

  • a cloth mask with multiple layers of fabric
  • a single-layer cloth mask underneath a single-layer cloth mask
  • a disposable mask underneath a single-layer cloth mask
  • a minimum two-ply surgical-style mask

Masks that have an exhalation vent are not permitted.  Masks should be form fitting, with edges of the inner mask against the face when wearing two masks. Additional strategies for proper mask fitting include wearing a mask with moldable nose wire and knotting the ear loops. 

All visitors to an Equinix IBX are strongly encouraged to wear masks that meet the above standards when traveling to the IBX. If, upon check-in, a mask is deemed not to meet these standards, Equinix will provide a disposable multi-layer surgical style mask so that the visitor may gain entry to the site.

The full plans are internal documents only. Please see our Business Continuity Program (BCP) Program Overview,d BCP Program FAQs on this page for more information.

Please contact your Customer Success Manager (CSM) if you have further questions or need more information.