Amazon says almost 20,000 of its workers got Covid-19

Amazon says almost 20,000 of its workers got Covid-19

Amazon on Thursday said that slightly more than 19,800 of its employees have tested positive for Covid-19 since the start of March. The disclosure comes after months of pressure from Amazon workers and labour groups calling for the company to divulge the COVID-19 numbers. "This is not an arena where companies should compete - this is an arena where companies should help one another".

Amazon said it then compared its case rates to the general population during the same period, using reporting from Johns Hopkins University. Amazon said between March 1 and September 19.

If the rate of infection among Amazon and Whole Foods workers were the same as the general United States population, the number of cases would have topped 33,000, according to the company.

Amazon says it's now conducting thousands of tests daily at its warehouses and by November they could be doing as many as 50,000 tests per day in 650 facilities.

"National case reporting varies country-by-country making it hard to share accurate and consistent comparisons of rates among Amazon employees compared with rates among the general public across different countries", a spokesman said.

Companies have no legal obligation to publicly reveal how many of their workers have contracted the virus, and few are doing so.

Amazon had repeatedly resisted sharing comprehensive data with the public and with its own workers about the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases at its warehouses, which have become crucial hubs for household supplies during the pandemic.

"This titanic safety failure demands the highest level of scrutiny", Perrone said.

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