Over 19,000 Amazon staff members likely had COVID between March and September

Mary Rose Corkery, DCNF

Nearly 20,000 Amazon staff members have either tested positive for the coronavirus or were presumed positive between March and September, the company announced Thursday.

Amazon said 19,816 staff members tested positive for the virus or were presumed positive, according to a company blog post.

The company predicted that from March 1 until Sept.19, 33,952 staff members would either test positive or be presumed positive  based on analysis and comparisons they conducted of their 1,372,000 Amazon and Whole Foods front-line workers. The actual number of people presumed to have the coronavirus was 42% lower.

“We have been conservative in this analysis,” the Amazon blog post said. “First, we cast a wide net by including both confirmed and presumptive cases in the Amazon figures. Second, actual COVID-19 rates in the general population are greater than the official counts because not everyone in the general public gets screened for symptoms or tested,” blog post said.

This is a first time Amazon has disclosed case numbers among its U.S. staff publicly, the Hill reported.

“By contrast, Amazon employees are regularly screened for symptoms and are increasingly being tested at work, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms, in order to identify asymptomatic cases. And of course, a positive test does not mean someone became infected as a result of their employment with Amazon—these individuals can be exposed in many ways outside of work,” the update continued.

Warehouse workers at many facilities have gone on strike over coronavirus safety regulations and many of them were dismissed, according to the Hill. Staff members in the technology area who were outspoken about the regulations were also terminated.

 

Amazon did not disclose how many COVID-19 staffer deaths there have been, although there were at least 10 publicly reported deaths, the Hill reported.

More than 7 million people in the U.S. have contracted the virus and there have been at least 207,600 deaths as of Friday morning, according to The New York Times database.

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