Amazon.com, Inc. has temporarily shuttered its New Jersey warehouse, known as PNE5, in Robbinsville Township until December 26 after an increase in asymptomatic cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) among its workers, according to a CNBC report.
The move follows the detection of increase in the number of asymptomatic positive cases at its PNE5 facility in northern New Jersey.
However, the exact number of employees that are asymptomatic positive cases is not known.
The report also stated that the employees at the facility will be paid for all the shifts they miss due to the shut down. Amazon had previously suspended operations of a delivery station in Queens, New York and a facility in Shepherdsville, Kentucky.
Amazon had confirmed in early October that nearly 20,000 frontline workers in the U.S. had tested positive or have been presumed positive for COVID-19 between March 1 and September 19.
Amazon also had announced conducting of thousands of tests a day and growing to 50,000 tests a day across 650 sites by November as part of its effort to keep front-line employees safe.
In March itself, the company had assembled a team to focus on testing Amazon employees of Covid-19. From research scientists and program managers to procurement specialists and software engineers were moved from their day jobs to focus on this initiative, and also hired dozens of lab technicians and others.
In the same month, the company started allowing employees to work from home until early October after an Amazon employee in Seattle tested positive for COVID-19. However, it extended the time frame for working from home up to January 8, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic showed no sign of retracting.
As Warehouse workers don’t have the luxury of working from home, Amazon had earlier announced a $2- per hour pay hike in the U.S. The company had hired 175,000 persons in March and April to match the swelling orders during lockdown.
The retailer has nearly 800,000 employees worldwide, and the majority of the workforce has jobs that require them to be on site. These include delivery drivers and employees working at fulfillment centers.
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