Oct 1, 2020 - Health

Amazon says over 19,800 employees contracted coronavirus

A truck outside the Amazon warehouse in Staten Island in March.

A truck outside an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, N.Y., in March. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon recorded 19,816 presumed or confirmed COVID-19 cases across its roughly 1.37 million Amazon and Whole Foods Market front-line employees in the U.S. between March 1 and Sept. 19, according to data released by the company on Thursday.

What they're saying: The company said its rate of infection among employees was lower than expected, noting "we've introduced or changed over 150 processes to ensure the health and safety of our teams," per the statement.

  • The changes include "distributing over 100 million face masks, implementing temperature checks at sites around the world, mandating enhanced cleaning procedures at all of our sites, and introducing extensive social distancing measures to reduce the risk for our employees," the company said.

Context: The data comes after labor groups, lawmakers, regulators and Amazon employees pressed the company for transparency on how many of its workers were infected.

By the numbers: Amazon noted it's conducting thousands of coronavirus tests daily and hopes to expand to 50,000 tests per day across 650 facilities by November.

  • The retailer said the rate of infection among employees was 42% lower than the “general population rate” in the U.S., adding that if the infection rates were the same, its total number of cases would have reached 33,952.
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