Workers In 8 Amazon Warehouses Test Positive For Coronavirus

An Amazon Prime truck passes by a sign outside an Amazon fulfillment center in Staten Island

Since the coronavirus (COVID-19) has been in the United States, employees at six warehouses in the United States have tested positive, according to the Washington Post. All the employees who were in contact with the worker were told to self-quarantine at home for two weeks, Amazon said. This news comes shortly after Amazon temporarily closed one of its NY delivery stations due to an employee contracting the virus.

In order to keep employees and as an incentive to new employees, Amazon is paying $2 per hour more until April. "We are following all guidelines from local officials and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site", Amazon said in a statement confirming the positive test.

"We are opening 100,000 new full and part-time positions across the U.S.in our fulfillment centers and delivery network to meet the surge in demand from people relying on Amazon's service during this stressful time, particularly those most vulnerable to being out in public", Dave Clark, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations wrote in a blog post.

Following the positive cases, Amazon temporarily shut down specific warehouses for sanitizing and some co-workers who came into contact with infected colleagues are in voluntary quarantine.

This includes regular disinfection of door handles, elevator buttons, lockers, and touch screens, Amazon said, as well as staggering shifts and spreading of chairs in break rooms. The company is already alerting visitors to its website of longer delivery times and encouraging customers to choose hasty delivery if their needs are not urgent.

'You are not alone' - Jacinda Ardern's message to New Zealanders
Despite the rising number of cases, most who contract the virus suffer only mild symptoms before making a recovery. A mobile alert will be sent between 6pm and 7pm tonight to advise New Zealanders about the state of emergency.

Amazon now has Covid-19 cases across 10 of its warehouses globally and faces growing pressure from unions and workers' rights groups to shut down facilities.

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.

Rita Cummings, a worker at the Staten Island facility, told CNN Business that she felt a lack of control over the situation, saying that few were washing their hands and that "no one really comes to ask people they are fine if they "feel sick". Earlier, five Amazon warehouse employees-three in Spain and two in Italy-had tested positive for the disease.

For the most up-to-date news and information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the World Health Organization website.

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