Amazon released data Thursday showing that 19,816 employees have tested positive or been presumed positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
The online retail behemoth said in the statement that it chose to share the COVID-19 infection rates among Amazon front-line employees in hopes other companies do the same.
“This is not an arena where companies should compete—this is an arena where companies should help one another,” Amazon stated.
According to the company’s own analysis of 1,372,000 Amazon and Whole Foods Market front-line employees across the country, the 19,816 number is substantially lower than the general population rate, as reported by Johns Hopkins University, “accounting for geography and the age composition of our employees to make the data as accurate as possible.
Amazon said it found that the workforce case count would have been 33,952 using the general population rate.
The company has faced criticism in the past when it comes to COVID-19 and its employees. An NBC report found that a “lack of transparency, combined with the lack of federal protections for U.S. workers who contract infectious diseases” make it nearly impossible to track the spread of COVID-19 at Amazon.
Amazon said in the release that it became clear in March that testing employees would “be of critical importance” and assigned employees from different backgrounds to a team tasked with that mission.
In late March, roughly 100 workers at an Amazon warehouse in New York walked off the job demanding the facility be closed for cleaning after a co-worker tested positive for COVID-19, and they be given paid time off. Amazon fired the worker who organized the strike, saying he repeatedly violated the company’s social distancing guidelines.
The company says it has “hired dozens of lab technicians and others to build a world-class laboratory team” that is now conducting “thousands of tests a day.” The team’s November goal is growing the daily testing numbers to reach 50,000 across 650 sites.
Amazon says it hopes testing will enable the company to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by asymptomatic carriers.
“Those who test positive can be quarantined and cared for, and everyone who tests negative can safely do their jobs without the risk of infecting others,” Amazon said in the news release.
Amazon says it provides “comprehensive health insurance from their first day on the job and paid time off to any employee who needs to be quarantined or receive treatment.”
New sanitization procedures, the distribution of more than 100 million face masks, staggered break times and temperatures checks are among the more than 150 changes the company says it has implemented since the start of the pandemic.
President Donald Trump, first lady test positive for COVID-19
Search for jobs on WRIC.com
- Richmond area health leaders are looking ahead to when the state could see a downward trend in COVID-19 cases.
- A small study by the Centers for Disease Control found that omicron's incubation appears to be about a day shorter than delta's.
- Virginia Attorney General Miyares not enforcing Youngkin’s ban on mask mandates while lawsuits play outSchools districts, including Richmond Public Schools, have started to challenge Gov. Glenn Youngkin's executive order scrapping all school mask mandates. 8News sat down with Attorney General Jason Miyares who said he is going to trust the legal process as these disputes progress.
- The Hanover County School Board voted unanimously at their Monday meeting to comply with Governor Youngkin's executive order ending mask mandates in public schools.
- Lawmakers say support has been building for more relief funding to support restaurants and other businesses struggling to stay afloat.
- It’s presumed that Palin will be the star witness, taking the stand to back up accusations that the Times should pay damages for hurting her budding career as a political commentator.
- Some coronavirus patients are noticing another side effect that happens months after recovery from COVID.
- SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Gonzaga has suspended John Stockton’s basketball season tickets after the Hall of Fame point guard refused to comply with the university's mask mandate. Stockton, one of Gonzaga's most prominent alums, confirmed the move in a Saturday interview with The Spokesman-Review. “Basically, it came down to, they were asking me to wear […]
- The head of the World Health Organization is warning that conditions remain ideal for more coronavirus variants to emerge and says it's dangerous to assume omicron is the last one or that “we are in the endgame,” while saying the acute phase of the pandemic could still end this year — if some key targets […]
- Despite lack of evidence it treats COVID-19, health insurers are still paying for ivermectin prescriptionsThere’s very little evidence that the drug actually fights the virus, yet a new study reveals health insurers are still paying for patients wanting the controversial drug.