Report: Amazon warehouse worker tests positive for COVID-19

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Report: Amazon warehouse worker tests positive for COVID-19

By Dan Berthiaume - 03/19/2020
amazon fulfillment

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has reportedly affected another Amazon employee.

According to The Atlantic, Amazon has confirmed an hourly worker at its Queens, N.Y., fulfillment facility (internally referred to as DBK1) tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, March 18. An independent group of Amazon employees called Amazonians United sent a text to employees at the center stating, “We’re writing to let you know that a positive case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) was found at our facility today.”

Warehouse employees told The Atlantic day shift workers were sent home early on March 18 to allow cleaning and disinfecting of the facility, but were not told of the positive test by management. In addition, night shift workers said they thought they were supposed to report for duty the night of March 18.

However, Amazon management disputed these claims, telling The Atlantic all employees at the facility were notified of the positive test and that night shift employees were not expected to report for work. 

“We are supporting the individual who is now in quarantine,” an Amazon spokesperson told The Atlantic. “In addition to our enhanced daily deep cleaning, we’ve temporarily closed the Queens delivery station for additional sanitation and have sent associates home with full pay.”

At least one employee at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters has tested positive for COVID-19, but this marks the first known case of a positive test for an hourly employee of the e-tailer. Amazon has recently taken a number of steps to help prevent the spread of coronavirus among its employees and contractors. These include asking all global employees who can work remotely to do so until the end of March. The company is also expanding sick leave to let all Amazon employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine receive up to two weeks of pay, and establishing an Amazon Relief Fund focused on supporting independent delivery service partners and their drivers, Amazon Flex participants, and seasonal employees.