Almost 20,000 Amazon staff have tested positive for Covid-19 3 weeks ago

Almost 20,000 Amazon staff have tested positive for Covid-19

"Amazon allowed Covid-19 to spread like wildfire."

Almost 20,000 Amazon staff have tested positive for Covid-19.

The company confirmed today that 19,816 of its workers have contracted coronavirus in the US since March, a number they say is lower than they had predicted.

Amazon warehouses have remained open during the pandemic to meet customer demand, a move that has been criticised by some employee groups.

The company, headed by richest man in the world Jeff Besoz, is adamant that their current Covid rates are lower than that of the general population rate.

"We compared Covid-19 case rates to the general population, as reported by Johns Hopkins University for the same period, accounting for geography and the age composition of our employees to make the data as accurate as possible," Amazon said.

"Based on this analysis, if the rate among Amazon and Whole Foods Market employees were the same as it is for the general population rate, we estimate that we would have seen 33,952 cases among our workforce. In reality, 19,816 employees have tested positive or been presumed positive for Covid-19—42% lower than the expected number."

A total of 1.37 million people are employed at Amazon and its subsidiary Whole Foods. The company said their in-house testing facility now carries out approximately 50,000 tests a day.

Athena, a labor and migrant activist coalition, has called for an investigation into Amazon workplaces in the US.

"Amazon allowed Covid-19 to spread like wildfire in its facilities," they said. "Amazon is, in no uncertain terms, a threat to public health."