More Amazon warehouse workers have tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as the online retail giant seeks to hire 100,000 employees to accommodate shopper demand during the current outbreak.
A week ago, an Amazon warehouse worker in Queens tested positive for COVID-19 as the virus began rapidly spreading in the region. Now, according to reports, there have been positive cases in at least nine warehouses across the country.
Other positive tests have reportedly been found in Wallingford, Connecticut, as well as Staten Island, near Los Angeles, Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Louisville, and Oklahoma City. There are also mixed reports about other confirmed cases of COVID-19 in other Amazon warehouses.
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.
Amazon previously announced that it planned to hire 100,000 new workers to stock their warehouses and delivery trucks to meet the rise in orders as many have taken to e-commerce rather than leaving their homes in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19.
As their ranks begin to swell, some employees have created and signed a petition alleging that Amazon has not done enough to keep employees safe from the virus, demanding hazard pay, paid sick leave and child care.
“Together, we are pressing Amazon to take the lead in ensuring a safe workplace and fair leave policies to protect our workplaces, families and the public,” organizers wrote. “As the pandemic unfolds, the demand for home-delivery is increasing, leading to near peak-level volume across the network. As we continue to provide this valuable service to our communities, we must ensure that we are adequately protected.”
In a statement, Amazon spokeswoman Lisa Levandowski said, “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.”
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