Amazon workers test positive for coronavirus at seven US warehouses as a doctor reveals the virus can live on packages for up to 24 HOURS
Amazon employees have tested positive for the coronavirus in at least seven US warehouses as experts reveal that the virus can live on packages for up to 24 hours.
Workers at warehouses in New York, Kentucky, Florida, Texas, Michigan, Connecticut and Oklahoma have reportedly tested positive for the virus.
It’s unclear how many employees for the online retail giant have been infected.
Workers at warehouses in New York, Kentucky (pictured on Tuesday), Florida, Texas, Michigan, Connecticut and Oklahoma have reportedly tested positive for the virus
A DailyMail.com request for comment to Amazon Wednesday morning was not immediately returned.
Last week, Amazon confirmed the case of COVID-19 at their Queens fulfillment center, saying that they are ‘supporting the individual who is now in quarantine’.
On Tuesday it was revealed that a Staten Island warehouse employee has also tested positive for the virus.
In an interview with the Today show, Dr John Torres explained that the virus can live on various surfaces for various times.
‘Anywhere from copper around four hours to stainless steel and plastic two-three days. Cardboard is right down the middle 24 hours is how long it could live on there and still be what we call viable, meaning it could still pass on coronavirus,’ Torres said.
In a global coronavirus pandemic that has infected about 420,000 people and killed nearly 19,000, Amazon workers have become as essential as first responders, providing food and other basics for millions of people who are isolating themselves under government stay-home directives.
But unlike traditional emergency workers, today’s delivery drivers typically have little or no health insurance, sick pay or job security – and many say they lack even the basics needed to stay safe on the job.
Amazon said it is taking ‘extreme measures’ to protect all workers, including contracted drivers. Such efforts include ‘tripling down on deep cleaning, procuring safety supplies that are available, and changing processes to ensure those in our buildings are keeping safe distances.’
Amazon confirmed the first case of COVID-19 at their Queens fulfillment center last week, saying they are ‘supporting the individual who is now in quarantine’
Amazon said it is giving its contracted delivery companies hand sanitizer and wipes to allow drivers to clean their vehicles. Asked about drivers´ accounts that such supplies were unavailable, the company said some delivery sites ‘may on occasion see brief shortages.’
As the crisis deepened last week, Amazon announced plans for 100,000 new workers to handle surging demand.
But those openings will likely be easily filled with the masses of workers laid off from other hard-hit sectors such as restaurants because Amazon is among the few companies that is hiring.
The company has temporarily boosted the pay for warehouse workers and contract drivers by $2 an hour in response to the pandemic, but the raises expire at the end of April.
After the pandemic hit, Amazon announced it would set aside $25million for contracted delivery drivers to apply for up to two weeks paid leave if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine by the government or Amazon.