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At least four Amazon employees from Connecticut warehouse test positive for COVID-19

Employees from Amazon’s sprawling North Haven distribution facility have been notified that at least four people working there have tested positive for COVID-19. 

The company acknowledged the situation and said they are making extensive efforts to keep employees safe. An Amazon spokesperson would not say how many employees are out with the illness.

In two recent voicemails to staff at the facility, news was shared that at least four employees were sick with COVID-19, but they had not been at work since March 9, March 17 and March 22. The voicemail said the facility does not need to be closed.

“These individuals did the right thing. When they thought they were sick, they stayed home,” the voicemails said. The voicemails said the employees will not return to work until they have met Amazon guidelines that are based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.

The North Haven distribution facility opened last July and employs roughly 1,800 people on a full-time basis.

“We are supporting the individuals who are recovering. We are following guidelines from health officials and medical experts, and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site," Amazon spokesperson Alyssa Bronikowski said in a statement.

She said the company continues to take steps to mitigate the danger of transmission of COVID-19. Efforts include contact employees when there is a positive case at the facility and paying those who are asked to quarantine if they came in close contact with a sick individual.

“We are encouraging those who are unwell to stay home and taking extreme measures to keep people safe in our buildings. And, since the early days of this situation, we have worked closely with health authorities to proactively respond, ensuring we continue to serve customers while taking care of our associates and teams,” Bronikowski said.

Amid increased demand on the online retailer since the outbreak, Amazon bumped up pay for employees at distribution facilities by $2 an hour, while also doubling their pay for overtime hours, the company said. The company has also extended paid sick leave to seasonal and part-time employees.

“Our employees are heroes fighting for their communities and helping people get critical items they need in this crisis — we have nearly 500,000 people in the U.S. alone supporting customers and we are taking measures to support each one,” Bronikowski said.

Amazon operates two other warehouse facilities in Connecticut, Windsor and Wallingford. Amazon did not say if employees at these facilities have contracted COVID-19.

Nicholas Rondinone can be reached at nrondinone

 

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