Amazon Fulfillment Center test positive for COVID-19

Darnell Taylor
March 25, 2020

At least one Amazon worker at the Staten Island warehouse JFK8 has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19), according to multiple reports.

The positive test was shared among a small group of supervisors at a meeting late Tuesday morning all while the facility has remained open for business as usual, Chris Smalls, a anxious management assistant at the facility, told The Post.

Workers come in close contact with each other as part of the nature of the shipping work and frequently eat next to one another in a shared cafeteria, he said.

Amazon closed the Queens, N.Y. delivery station and associates were sent home with full pay.

Workers had previously told CNN Business that Amazon's social distancing policies were not realistic in warehouses, where tight conditions in lockers force employees to "walk sideways" to cross paths.

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Hundreds of workers have signed a petition saying they do not think Amazon has done enough to ensure they are protected during the coronavirus-fueled boom for the company. They have also urged the e-commerce retailer to take more steps to protect them. All the employees who were in contact with the worker were told to self-quarantine at home for two weeks, Amazon said. Similar cases were confirmed at Amazon warehouses in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Brownstown, Michigan; Jacksonville, Florida; Shepherdsville, Kentucky; and Wallingford, Connecticut.

"We have increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning at all sites, including regular sanitization of door handles, handrails, touch screens, scanners, and other frequently touched areas", the company said.

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". Company told CNN it is taking "extreme measures to keep our site employees safe [s]".

In a global coronavirus pandemic that has infected about 420,000 people and killed almost 19,000, Amazon workers have become as essential as first responders, providing food and other basics for millions of people who are isolating themselves under government stay-home directives.

"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".

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