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Number of COVID-19 cases among Amazon workers rises

Eight workers have now tested positive for the virus

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Photo (c) RiverNorthPhotography - Getty Images
There has been an increase in the number of Amazon warehouse workers who have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Less than a week after confirming its first worker case of the virus (a worker in Queens, New York), Amazon has disclosed that eight of its workers have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Wednesday. 

The workers are scattered across U.S. Amazon facilities. Workers tested positive for the virus at warehouses in Staten Island and Queens, New York; Shepherdsville, Kentucky; Jacksonville, Florida; Katy, Texas; Brownstown, Michigan; Wallingford, Connecticut; and Oklahoma City, according to NPR. 

In a blog post published Wednesday, Amazon assured the public that it has been cleaning the affected facilities and that the infected individuals have been quarantined. 

Increased cleaning at all sites

In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, Amazon says it has relied on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to craft a “series of preventative health measures” at all of its sites. 

“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. “We're also requiring employees and delivery service partners to clean and disinfect their work stations.” 

Amazon has also implemented social distancing procedures at its work sites in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. The company says it has eliminated standup meetings during shifts and has started staggering start and break times. 

The e-commerce giant is currently dealing with a massive surge in demand among consumers heeding the advice of health officials to “stay home.” The company said it plans to hire an additional 100,000 employees in the U.S. to help it handle the unexpected spike in demand. 

Meanwhile, Amazon is prioritizing the shipment of high-priority goods. Some non-essential items may not ship for several more weeks while the company focuses on ensuring that its customers receive essential goods. 

“We are temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so that we can more quickly receive, restock and deliver these products to customers,” the company said last week.

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