Amazon has revealed that almost 20,000 of its workers in the US have contracted Covid-19 after months of demands for public disclosure from activists.
In a blog post, Amazon said: “Testing regularly and broadly will help identify people who have contracted the coronavirus but are asymptomatic and therefore might not otherwise be tested. Identifying asymptomatic carriers means catching the virus earlier, before it spreads, which will have real benefits for our communities.
“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. We’re investing hundreds of millions of dollars in this initiative, but testing is just one of the things we’re doing to keep our front-line employees safe. We provide our employees 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.
“In the early days of the crisis, we enlisted several of the world’s leading epidemiology and outbreak-response doctors to work with our 5,000-member global safety team to devise and implement process changes throughout our buildings. All in, we’ve introduced or changed over 150 processes to ensure the health and safety of our teams, including distributing over 100 million face masks, implementing temperature checks at sites around the world, mandating enhanced cleaning procedures at all of our sites, and introducing extensive social distancing measures to reduce the risk for our employees.
“We’ve eliminated stand-up meetings during shifts, moved information sharing to bulletin boards, staggered break times, and spread out chairs in breakrooms, among other steps. Cleaning occurs across each site about every 90 minutes to sanitize door handles, stairway handrails, lockers, elevator buttons, and touch screens.”
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