A day after CEO Jeff Bezos took a tour of its warehouse in Dallas, Amazon has reportedly confirmed its first case of coronavirus at the site.
According to a message sent to workers on Thursday, which was reviewed by Bloomberg, the employee who tested positive for COVID-19 was last at the facility on Monday. “Consistent with our daily processes, the site has undergone enhanced cleanings since the associate’s last day,” the message was said to have read.
On Wednesday, Bezos paid a surprise visit to the fulfillment center near the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. In a video shared by the e-commerce giant, the billionaire exec was seen wearing a face mask and getting his temperature checked at building checkpoint. He also toured a Whole Foods location.
Bezos’ visit came on the same day that Senators Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Richard Blumenthal, Robert Menendez and Kirsten Gillibrand raised questions regarding Amazon’s working conditions and inquired about the firing of a Staten Island, N.Y., warehouse worker.
“We’re all incredibly proud of the thousands of our colleagues working on the front lines to get critical goods to people everywhere during this crisis,” Amazon’s news arm wrote on Twitter on April 8, referencing its top executive’s visit to the site.
Amazon and Whole Foods employees seen in the video appeared to be wearing both masks and gloves. To prevent the spread of the illness, the Seattle-based company said it has provided face masks to staff members across all of its warehouses in the United States and Europe as well as its Whole Foods stores. It is also using no-contact forehead thermometers at facility entrances and said it would send home anyone who registers a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or more.
Due to its status as an essential retailer, Amazon has continued operating its warehouses, even in the states and localities that have been hit hardest by COVID-19, which has sickened nearly 487,000 people in the U.S. and led to at least 18,000 deaths. It has seen a spike in demand as panicked shoppers load up on household goods and shop online instead of in stores. To keep up, the company announced last month that it was hiring an additional 100,000 workers to staff its warehouses and deliver packages.
FN has reached out to Amazon for comment.
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