Amazon says more than 19,000 workers received Kovid-19

Peter Endig | AFP | Getty Images

Amazon on Thursday released extensive data on the prevalence of coronovirus among its employees, revealing for the first time that more than 19,000 workers, or 1.44% of the total, contracted the virus this year.

Between March 1 and September 19, Amazon counted 19,816 or confirmed Kovid-19 cases in the front-line employees of approximately 1.37 million Amazon and Whole Foods markets across the US.

Worker groups, politicians and regulators repeatedly informed Amazon after months of reporting how many of its workers were infected with Kovid-19. Early on the epidemic, warehouse workers expressed concern that Amazon was not doing enough to keep them from getting sick and asked to close the facilities with confirmed cases. By reducing Amazon’s data, warehouse workers created a crowdsource database of infections based on new case notifications at facilities across the US

Amazon previously refused to share the data, saying it would be misleading and lacking context. In Thursday’s blog post, Amazon said the total number of infections would be “more powerful” if similar data were released by other companies. “The widespread availability of data will allow us to benchmark our progress and share best practices across businesses and industries,” the company said.

The total does not include Amazon’s network of third-party delivery drivers, who handle a portion of last-mile delivery. It is unclear how many contracted drivers make up Amazon’s third-party distribution network, but the company has previously said it has added about 85,000 jobs in the US, Canada, the UK, Spain and Germany.

At that stage, Amazon said that the rate of infection among employees was 42% lower than the “general population rate” in the US, if Amazon’s infection rate were consistent with the community, the total number of cases would have reached 33,952. , The company said.

The company has long ensured that the rate of infection in its warehouses is lower than the rate in surrounding communities, although this is disputed by workers, particularly in an Amazon warehouse in Minnesota, where the infection rate exceeds the community level .

Amazon provided an update on its progress, providing coronovirus testing to front-line workers. Thousands of tests are being conducted daily by November and Amazon expects to have 50,000 tests a day at 650 facilities by November.

CNBC previously reported that Amazon aims to test the bulk of its front-line workers every two weeks, with employees testing themselves with nasal swabs. The company previously said it would invest its estimated Q2 profit of $ 4 billion in its Covid-19 response, and spend $ 1 billion on testing throughout the year.

Amazon has built a dedicated team of research scientists, program managers, procurement specialists and software engineers to quickly scale up its testing capabilities. It has built its own laboratory to develop a coronovirus testing capability, focusing on the efforts of Sunnyvale, California and Hebbo Kentucky.

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