With the number of COVID-19 cases continue to emerge in the United States, worldwide online selling and shopping giant Amazon has decided to close one of its own warehouses based in New Jersey after an increase in asymptomatic coronavirus cases among the company's employees themselves were confirmed and reported in the facility itself.
Multinational media news source Reuters received a statement from an Amazon spokesperson, telling the news company that they have seen an increase in the amount of asymptomatic positive cases among their own employees at their PNE5 facility or the Robbinsville Township, New Jersey facility.
Amazon's Immediate Response
They have detected the cases and then decided to proactively shut down the operations of the site until December 26 as part of their immediate response to lessen and prevent the COVID-19 cases in their facility.
Although the shifts were suspended as a precautionary measure against the continuing spread of the virus especially in the US, all the Amazon employees which are part of the shifts and affected by the suspensions will still be paid regardless of the days that they will miss.
The spokesperson also mentioned that through the program they made and designed, they have detected and determined the asymptomatic cases as soon as possible, and implementing the required actions to prevent further contract of the virus to and by other people as their quick response to the situation.
Although they have detected and confirmed the number of the positive cases, they are still quiet on the exact amount of the positive asymptomatic cases that occurred within their premises. Yet in October, the company said that there were more than 19,000 for their US frontline force who were declared positive with the virus, or equivalent to 1.44 percent of the totality of all the cases in the US. These were during the span of March 1 up to September 19.
This along with other surge in cases set on other companies all over the country has then caught upon the attention of many labor advocates, in which they have put and gave criticism about the COVID-19 response of the companies which were involved, including the likes of Amazon.
It was even backed when statements from some company staff, elected officials, and unions in the past recent months stated that Amazon has risked the health and the lives of their employees through the continuous operations of their warehouses, which includes the recently shut down PNE5.
The Company's Earlier Response
These led to the company to go beyond the extra mile regarding the overall safety of their employees, especially with the pandemic brought about by the COVID-19 still on the roll. Amazon implemented stricter health protocols, including the mandatory wearing of face masks, frequent using of hand sanitizers, maintaining proper social distancing, and many more.
The company also launched its very own coronavirus testing sites on some of its warehouses all over the country, adding that they were already testing an amount of thousands of COVID-19 tests each day.