Amazon warehouse worker tests positive for coronavirus as drivers for the online giant say they were given just ONE WIPE to clean their shared delivery vans
- Employee at an Amazon delivery station in New York City tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday; the facility has closed for sanitation before it re-opens
- The internet giant is experiencing a surge in orders amid the coronavirus crisis, as people place online orders to avoid going outside
- However, several employees claim that their health and safety is a secondary priority amid the outbreak
- Several delivery drivers told Bloomberg Wednesday that they were given one wipe to clean their shared vans
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
A worker at Amazon’s warehouse in New York City has tested positive for coronavirus, sparking fears about the safety of the company’s packages and the thousands of other employees who pack them.
Amazon confirmed the case of COVID-19 at their Queens fulfillment center Wednesday, saying that they are ‘supporting the individual who is now in quarantine’.
The online giant also says that they informed all workers at the facility about the news – however several dispute the claim.
One dispatcher told The Atlantic that he first learned of the coronavirus case via a text message sent to a workers’ group, rather than from Amazon itself. They further alleged that night-shift employees still believed they were required to head in to the facility for their shift.
Amazon confirmed the case of COVID-19 at their Queens fulfillment center on Wednesday, and say they are ‘supporting the individual who is now in quarantine’
Amazon finds itself busier than ever during the coronavirus crisis, but some workers say their safety is a secondary priority. Pictured: an Amazon warehouse in England
However, Amazon clarified that they have ‘temporarily closed the delivery station for additional sanitation and have sent associates home with full pay.’
It is unclear when the warehouse will open again.
Amazon currently finds itself in a precarious situation, with online deliveries surging as people stay home and self-isolate as the coronavirus outbreak continues to worsen in the United States.
But the company’s hundreds of thousands of warehouse employees often work in close proximity to one another, and a potential contagion could result in a substantial number of employees out sick.
It’s also been rumored that the coronavirus can live on boxes for up to 24 hours, sparking fears that infected workers could be passing the virus on to customers.
Some workers say they are underpaid given the current risks they are facing. Amazon warehouses in Spain and Italy are also continuing to operate despite the countries both being hard hit by coronavirus, The Atlantic reports.
Amazon’s hundreds of thousands of warehouse employees often work in close proximity to one another, and a potential contagion could result in substantial number of employees out sick
Bloomberg claims that in one Italian warehouse, up to 30% of staff have been absent in recent weeks.
‘It clearly shows a disregard for our health and safety,’ one disgruntled US employee stated.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country in California, Amazon workers are similarly stating that their jobs are putting them at risk.
Three Amazon delivery drivers told Bloomberg that they were each given a single wipe to clean their shared delivery vans Tuesday morning, despite hundreds of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state.
‘I felt so disposable,’ one of the drivers stated.
‘We’re really worried, and one wipe for a van just doesn’t cut it.’
Three Amazon delivery drivers told Bloomberg that they were each given a single wipe to clean their shared delivery vans Tuesday morning, despite hundreds of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state (stock image)
However, Amazon is pushing ahead with business, advertising 100,000 new jobs and adding $2 to the hourly pay of workers.
An Amazon spokesperson told Bloomberg: ‘As communities around the world are requiring social distancing, we’re seeing that our teams—much like grocery stores, pharmacies and other essential services—have a unique role getting customers the critical items they need and this is especially vital for the elderly, people with underlying health issues, and those sick or quarantined.
‘We have implemented a series of preventative health measures for employees, delivery and transportation partners at our sites around the world.’
White-collar workers at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle are currently working from home after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.
The coronavirus crisis continues to worsen in the United States with more than 9000 people testing positive to COVID-19