Amazon says its taking ‘extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees’ at Kent site

Fulfillment Center employee tested positive for COVID-19; facility remains open

Courtesy File Photo, Amazon

Courtesy File Photo, Amazon

Amazon officials say they “are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site” after an employee at the Kent Fulfillment Center tested positive last week for COVID-19.

“We are supporting the individual who is recovering,” according to a Monday email from Amazon to the Kent Reporter. “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 opened the Kent facility, 20526 59th Pl. S., in 2016 on property formerly owned by Boeing.

Amazon sent a link to let people know what the company is doing to protect employees and partners.

Amazon also emailed a list of steps it has taken in Kent, from quarantine requirements, pay, sanitation and social distancing:

· We will alert any associate who had close contact with this person at our building and will ask them to not return to the site and to self-quarantine for 14-days, and we will pay them for their time at home.

· We have made employees at the site aware of this confirmed case.

· All Amazon employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine will receive up to two weeks of pay. This additional pay while away from work is to ensure employees have the time they need to return to good health without the worry of lost income. This is in addition to unlimited unpaid time off for all hourly employees through the end of April.

· We have implemented a series of preventative health measures for employees, delivery and transportation partners at our sites around the world. These measures include:

· Increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning at all sites including regular sanitization of all door handles, stairway handrails, elevator buttons, lockers, and touch screens, to name a few.

· Adjusted practices to ensure social distancing within our buildings, including:

– No stand-up meetings during shifts – all business essential information will be shared via boards near main areas and through conversations with managers, or HR team members

– Moving chairs and spreading out tables in breakrooms

– Shift start times and break times are being staggered to promote social distancing

– Suspended exit screening until further notice to ensure ease of movement near main entrances

– Enabled temporary cellphone process for those who need to be in contact with their families or childcare providers

– Training will take place in small formats and with in-app training tools and other equipment

· Requiring employees to stay home and seek medical attention if they are feeling unwell and have adjusted attendance policies to support this.

· Requiring employees to sanitize and clean their work stations and vehicles at the start and end of every shift with disinfectant/cleaning wipes.

· Asked employees to defer non-essential travel.

· Moved to video-based interviews for the majority of our candidate interviews.

· Communicated to employees that everyone must wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.


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