Amazon has said that around 20,000 of it workers have been tested positive for the coronavirus. This is for the first time when the e-commerce giant has talked about these numbers. This is when activist employees and attorneys general called for the release of the information. The company said in a blog post that 19,816 of its front-line workers in the United States have tested positive or were presumed positive for COVID-19 between March 1 and September 19. But the online retail behemoth stressed that the infection rate amongst its employees is much below than the national average. The positivity rate is 1.4 per cent when compared to the total number of workers in the country. The company said that the figure would have been 33,952 cases if compared to Johns Hopkin’s general population figures.
However, Amazon said that the data has been shared in a bid to keep employees informed. The company said that it hopes that other conglomerates will also release case rates and their detailed learnings because doing so will help them. “This is not something where we should compete, rather companies should help one another,” the blog reads. The Seattle-based company said that data of 1.37 million employees at Amazon and Whole Foods Market across the United States were examined from March 1 to September 19. The company stated that it is conducting thousands of tests every day and the number will grow further to 50,000 per day across 650 sites by November.
The company said that employees testing positive does not mean that they got infected at the facility. “They can be exposed to the virus in many ways outside of work,” Amazon said. As per the guidelines, employers must alert employees if they were possibly exposed to the virus. But the company has no legal obligation to reveal the number of workers tested positive for COVID-19. Despite not providing data for months, the company is now calling on other companies to release similar data. This data may rekindle protests against the company. Protests were a common site at the beginning of the pandemic.