Coronavirus in Florida: Amazon warehouse employee tests positive for COVID-19

Coronavirus

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — An employee at an Amazon fulfillment center in Jacksonville tested positive for COVID-19, the company confirmed Tuesday.

The patient was last at work March 18 and has since been receiving medical care in quarantine, Amazon said in a statement released to First Coast News.


WHAT TO KNOW:

  • Florida is reporting 85,926 cases and 3,061 deaths
  • Florida in Phase Two of reopening
  • Cases have spiked in past week, Gov. DeSantis says due to increased testing

The company released a statement saying it is conducting “contact tracing” and will tell any employee at the warehouse who has come in close contact with the patient to also self-quarantine for 14 days.

Amazon said it will pay employees up to two weeks while they self-quarantine. The company will also allow unlimited unpaid time off for all hourly employees through the end of March.

Amazon has implemented a series of preventative health measures for employees, delivery and transportation partners at their sites around the world, including:

  • Increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning at all sites including regular sanitization of all door handles, stairway handrails, elevator buttons, lockers, and touch screens, to name a few.
  • No stand-up meetings during shifts – all business essential information will be shared via boards near main areas and through conversations with managers, or HR team members
  • Moving chairs and spreading out tables in breakrooms
  • Shift start times and break times are being staggered to promote social distancing
  • Suspended exit screening until further notice to ensure ease of movement near main entrances
  • Enabled temporary cell phone process for those who need to be in contact with their families or childcare providers
  • Training will take place in small formats and with in-app training tools and other equipment
  • Requiring employees to stay home and seek medical attention if they are feeling unwell and have adjusted attendance policies to support this.  
  • Requiring employees to sanitize and clean their work stations and vehicles at the start and end of every shift with disinfectant/cleaning wipes.
  • Asked employees to defer non-essential travel.
  • Moved to video-based interviews for the majority of our candidate interviews.
  • Communicated to employees that everyone must wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.  

Based on information from the CDC, the World Health Organization, and the Surgeon General, there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through packages, Amazon says.

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