A report from the Washington Post states that at least six Amazon warehouses in the United States have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic as the e-commerce giant attempts to address a massive increase in shipments as thousands of Americans are confined to their homes. Other reported cases out of Amazon's warehouses have come from facilities in California, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas and CT.
Earlier this month, Amazon said it would provide paid sick leave to any employees that were diagnosed or forced into quarantine due to COVID-19. "We continue to serve customers while taking care of our associates and we're following all guidelines from local officials about the operations of our buildings".
The contaminated employee hadn't been on the success center in a few weeks, Smalls stated - however, at a facility with greater than 2,500 full-time workers, Smalls feared that an impending outbreak is inevitable.
Amazon also has made changes at its work sites in accordance with social distancing, including eliminating standup meetings during shifts and staggering start and break times.
When an Amazon worker tested positive for the virus on the firm's warehouse in Queens, Amazon told The Atlantic that the location had been cleaned each day and was briefly shut down for "additional sanitation".
This is a contrast to the treatment of white-collar workers in tech, with Amazon and other major USA tech firms closing down offices and mandating that workers work from home.
Hundreds of workers have signed a petition saying they do not think Amazon has done enough to ensure they are protected during the coronavirus-fueled boom for the company.
On Tuesday, the company confirmed that an employee at an Amazon delivery station near Houston, Texas, had tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the CDC, the coronavirus primarily spreads via "respiratory droplets" when people cough or sneeze.
Athena, a workers' rights advocacy group, said workers at Amazon's NY warehouse had to continue working while the facility was being cleaned after the case there was confirmed. More than 108,000 people have recovered from this illness.