Amazon Reports Over 19,000 US Frontline Employees Had COVID-19

Amazon.com on Thursday said more than 19,000 of its US frontline workers contracted the coronavirus this year, or 1.44 percent of the total, a disclosure sought by labour advocates who have criticised the COVID-19 response of the world’s largest online retailer. Some staff, elected officials and unions in recent months have said Amazon put employees’ health at risk by keeping warehouses open during the pandemic. Amazon said its rate of infection was 42 percent lower than expected when considering the virus’ spread in the general population.

Amazon in a blog post encouraged other businesses to report comparable figures. It said it will expand virus testing to 50,000 US employees per day by November through internally built capacity.

The disclosure by Amazon offers a rare look at the disease’s impact on a big US employer. Amazon has kept facilities open to meet a surge in demand from shoppers stuck at home, adding temperature checks, social distancing software and other safety procedures.

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