Amazon discloses virus count: 19,000, or 1.44%, of U.S. frontline workforce

In this news, we discuss the Amazon discloses virus count: 19,000, or 1.44%, of U.S. frontline workforce.

(Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O said on Thursday that more than 19,000 of its U.S. frontline workers had contracted the coronavirus this year, or 1.44% of the total, a disclosure long sought by union activists who had criticized its response to the pandemic.

Amazon said the number was well below expectations, given the infection rate in the general population. The company, which has encouraged other companies to release comparable figures, expects it to test 50,000 U.S. employees per day for the virus by November.

News from the online retailer offered a rare look at the impact of the disease on a large U.S. employer, under pressure from elected officials and unions for months to close warehouses with outbreaks. Instead, Amazon kept the facility open to meet increased demand from stranded shoppers at home, adding temperature controls, social distancing software, and other procedures to keep staff safe.

Out of 1,372,000 prominent employees at Amazon and its subsidiary Whole Foods Market, 19,816 tested positive for the virus or were presumed to have COVID-19 between March 1 and September 19, the company said. In contrast, 33,952 would have caught the virus if Amazon’s infection rate had been as bad as that of the general population, he said.

“That information would be more powerful if there was similar data from other large employers to compare it to,” Amazon said in a blog post. “We hope that sharing this data and our learnings will encourage others to follow, and prove useful as states make decisions about reopening public facilities and employers consider whether and how to bring back the people at work. ”

Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; Edited by David Gregorio

Original © Thomson Reuters

Originally posted 2020-10-02 03:16:10.

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