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Amazon Advises Workers to Wear Face Masks But Has Them in Only ‘Limited’ Quantities

Amazon has advised its workers to wear face masks, but a leaked memo suggests that the e-commerce behemoth has only a limited supply for workers.

According to a text message sent to employees and obtained by Business Insider, the Seattle-based retailer recommended workers wear masks that cover both their noses and mouths throughout their shifts. However, it said it had only “limited quantities for anyone entering the building to wear as a recommended preventative measure,” and if preferred, workers were encouraged to bring their own masks.

“We have teams working nonstop to continue sourcing supplies, including masks, and are working hard to stay in stock with masks during this event,” the memo reportedly read. Employees who wanted masks were told to reach out to a manager at the beginning of their shifts.

An Amazon spokesperson told FN, “We have enough … masks for everyone in our operations network and grocery stores to last a few weeks and continue to procure more. There is a mask shortage in the world right now, so naturally we are being deliberate in our daily distributions.”

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The report comes a few days after the company confirmed that it would conduct temperature checks and provide face masks to staff members in all of its warehouses in the United States and Europe as well as its Whole Foods stores. The supply shipments were set to arrive early this week.

“Disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer are already standard across our network, and the procurement teams have worked tirelessly to create new sources of supply to keep these critical items flowing,” said Dave Clark, SVP of worldwide operations.

Employees working in at least nine Amazon facilities in the U.S. have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began recommending that people cover their face when they go out in public as a precaution in the fight against spreading the coronavirus.

This story has been updated with comments from Amazon.

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