Workers in at least eight Amazon warehouses in the U.S. have reportedly tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), according to a report from Dailymail.
The Amazon facilities at which the employees were tested positive are Queens and Staten Island, New York, Shepherdsville, Kentucky, Jacksonville, Florida, Katy, Texas, Brownstown, Michigan, Wallingford, Connecticut and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Amazon Fulfillment Center SDF9 in Shepherdsville was shut down on Monday at 5:30 p.m. to perform a deep cleaning of the facility to protect employees and associates at the site and to prevent the further spread of the virus. Also, those who came in close contact with the infected employees have been quarantined.
This news comes less than a week after the first known case of an infected Amazon warehouse employee was reported in its Queens, N.Y. fulfillment center.
Amazon closed the Queens, N.Y. delivery station and associates were sent home with full pay. Besides the U.S., even Amazon warehouse workers in Italy and Spain have also tested positive.
Amazon workers and their supporters blamed that the company for failing to protect its hundreds of thousands of employees and delivery workers during the coronavirus outbreak. They have also urged the e-commerce retailer to take more steps to protect them.
“We are supporting the individuals, following guidelines from local officials, and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of all the employees at our sites,” an Amazon spokesperson said. All Amazon employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine for coming in close contact with the affected individuals will receive up to two weeks of pay.
The company has also increased the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing at all sites, including all door handles, stairway handrails, elevator buttons, and touch screens, among others. It’s staggered start and break times and suspended exit screenings to aid social distancing.
In a letter to employees last Friday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said, “There is no instruction manual for how to feel at a time like this, and I know this causes stress for everyone.”
He also went on to add that the company is implementing “a series of preventative health measures for employees and contractors at our sites around the world – everything from increasing the frequency and intensity of cleaning to adjusting our practices in fulfillment centers to ensure the recommended social distancing guidelines. We are meeting every day, working to identify additional ways to improve on these measures.
“We’ve placed purchase orders for millions of face masks we want to give to our employees and contractors who cannot work from home, but very few of those orders have been filled.
“When our turn for masks comes, our first priority will be getting them in the hands of our employees and partners working to get essential products to people.”