After several outbreaks at Amazon warehouses, here’s how the company will test its employees for coronavirus every two weeks

Amazon warehouse coronavirus tests
Photo via Tony Webster/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

Amazon is working on setting up its own COVID-19 testing centers, as it plans to begin testing the majority of its fulfillment center employees for the virus every two weeks, according to CNBC

The New York Times reports that at least 900 of Amazon’s 400,000 workers have contracted COVID-19, leading to widespread outrage from the company’s employees and consumers alike. 

In response, CEO Jeff Bezos told shareholders in April that all employees would be tested soon for COVID-19. If all goes according to plan, that will entail rolling out millions of tests throughout the summer. 

Three people familiar with Amazon’s plans told CNBC the company plans to develop standalone diagnostic labs in several sites, with the first two launched in Sunnyvale, California, and in Kentucky. 

“We’ve started our first small-scale testing pilot,” an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC. “We don’t know exactly yet how it’s going to shape up, but we continue to believe it’s worth trying.”

Amazon has said it expects to spend at least $1 billion in 2020 to develop COVID-19 testing for its employees, according to Business Insider.

Amazon’s push to increase testing comes days after news broke that three New York employees sued Amazon for “allegedly fostering the spread of the coronavirus by mandating unsafe working conditions,” according to Reuters

Business Insider says the company also recently eliminated it’s $2 per hour hazard pay, as well as its policy of allowing workers to take unlimited unpaid time off if they felt sick or unsafe at work. 

Sources: CNBC, New York Times, Business Insider, Reuters

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