Amazon reports over 19,000 frontline employees have had COVID-19

Platform News: Amazon Coronavirus response said more than 19,000 of its US frontline employees contracted the coronavirus this calendar year, or 1.44% of the total, a revelation sought by labour advocates who have criticised the COVID-19 response of the world’s largest online retailer.

Some staff, elected officials and marriages in recent months have said Amazon put workers’ health at risk by keeping warehouses open during the pandemic. Amazon said its rate of infection was 42% lower than expected when considering the virus’ spread in the general population.

Amazon in a blog article encouraged other companies to report also. It also said it will increase its virus testing to a massive 50,000 US employees per day by November.

The disclosure by Amazon offers a rare appearance at the disorder’s impact on a big US employer. Amazon has kept facilities open to meet a surge in demand from shoppers trapped in the home, including temperature tests, social distancing applications and other safety procedures.

Athena, a labour and activist coalition, called on officials to investigate Amazon and for more regular reporting from the organization in light of the news. “Amazon allowed COVID-19 to spread like wildfire,” coalition director Dania Rajendra said in a statement.

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Amazon said that out of its 1,372,000 frontline workers at Amazon and its own Whole Foods subsidiary, 19,816 examined positive or were presumed to have COVID-19 between the 1st of March and September the 19th. The figure includes seasonal employees and those who might have been infected outside work, it stated.

By contrast, 33,952 could have contracted the virus needed Amazon’s rate equalled that of the general populace, when accounting for employees’ age and geography, it said.

“This information will be stronger if there were comparable data from other significant employers to compare it to,” Amazon said in the blog post, adding that it hopes the numbers “will prove invaluable as states make decisions regarding reopening public centres and employers consider whether and how to bring people back to work.”

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco. Editing by David Gregorio and Leslie Adler.

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