What you need to know
- Amazon today confirmed the first coronavirus case in its warehouse in Queens.
- The individual has been quarantined, and the warehouse has been temporarily shut down.
- Workers at several Amazon warehouses across Europe have also contacted the virus.
Amazon today confirmed the first case of coronavirus infection in an American warehouse. A worker at its Queens delivery station, who tested positive for the virus, is now in quarantine.
An Amazon spokesperson confirmed to the folks at The Atlantic that the Queens delivery station has been temporarily closed for "additional sanitation." The company has also sent its associates at the facility home with full pay.
While Amazon announced earlier this month that it would give two weeks of sick pay to all employees diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, many workers at the company's warehouses feel that it is not doing enough to protect them. Since the virus can stay infectious up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic, the packages sent by sick employees is likely to be contagious.
Amazon is also being criticized for keeping open its European warehouses, where some workers have been infected by COVID-19. Even in Italy and Spain, which are among the countries worst-affected by the pandemic, Amazon's warehouses have not been closed. Earlier this week, the online retail giant said that it plans to hire 100,000 workers to meet the spike in demand amid coronavirus spread. It has also promised to increase the hourly pay of its workers by $2 in the U.S. and €2 in the European Union.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.