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A sign outside an Amazon Go store at the Amazon.com Inc. headquarters on May 20 in Seattle. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

Amazon on Friday cut its paid leave policy for employees infected with COVID-19 from 10 days to 7 following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's change in quarantine guidance.

Driving the news: The new policy is effective immediately and applies to all U.S. employees, regardless of vaccination status, according to a memo sent to employees, which was viewed by Axios.

  • "Additional leave options are available for individuals who remain symptomatic beyond one week," the company said.

What they're saying: "Throughout the past two years, we have consistently based our response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the advice of our own medical experts," the company said.

  • "After reviewing the newly released guidance from the CDC, we are updating Amazon's COVID-19 isolation and quarantine policy."

The big picture: The change in guidance comes less than two weeks after the CDC shortened its recommended isolation time for people who test positive for COVID-19 from 10 days to five days if they're asymptomatic.

  • Many companies and universities have adopted the new guidance as a surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant is raising concerns over labor shortages.
  • Walmart announced Wednesday that it was cutting leave related to COVID-19 in half, CNBC reports.

Go deeper: CDC director: New K-12 isolation guidance will help keep schools open

Go deeper

Jan 15, 2022 - Health

Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron

Three COVID-19 testing companies place testing locations outside Grand Central Terminal on Jan. 14 in New York City. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Experts are warning that subsequent COVID-19 variants are likely to come after Omicron, AP reports.

Why it matters: The warnings come as there's no guarantee that subsequent variants "will cause milder illness or that existing vaccines will work against them," underscoring the need for widespread vaccination, AP writes.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

British national named in Colleyville synagogue standoff

A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 16. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

British national Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, the FBI said in a statement.

State of play: Authorities had initially declined to release the name of the 44-year-old suspect or identify the hostages, all adults, though police chief Michael Miller confirmed that one of those held was Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who leads the congregation.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron — Deaths are climbing as cases skyrocket.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health" — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— — CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: West Virginia governor feeling "extremely unwell" after positive test — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers — America struggles to keep schools open
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker