Amazon worker dies of coronavirus in NYC: Report
Worker was stationed at the JFK8 fulfillment center in Staten Island
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An Amazon employee in New York has died after contracting the novel coronavirus.
The worker was stationed at the JFK8 fulfillment center in Staten Island where staff had been calling for better safety measures to prevent spread, according to a report in The Verge.
The company later confirmed the death in a statement sent to FOX Business.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of an associate at our site in Staten Island, NY,” Amazon said. “His family and loved ones are in our thoughts, and we are supporting his fellow colleagues.” The employee was last on site April 5 and quarantined after he tested positive April 11, the tech giant said.
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Amazon has rolled out some changes at its facilities to protect workers, including enforcing temperature checks when employees report to work and expanding a policy to cover COVID-19 circumstances, such as high-risk individuals or school closures.
The company introduced updates to its warehouse procedures to mandate social-distancing and said in its first-quarter earnings report that it would spend $4 billion on a robust COVID-19 response.
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The first known death of an Amazon worker, an operations manager at its Hawthorne, California, facility, occurred March 3. Another employee at an Amazon warehouse in Tracy, California, died April 1.
There are more than 12,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Staten Island, and New York state has been one of the hardest-hit places with a total of 320,000 cases.
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The announcement comes as Amazon faces a battle with protesting workers. It recently fired Christian Smalls, who organized a walkout at JFK8, as well as workers in Minnesota and Pennsylvania who raised concerns about safety procedures. Senior engineer and vice president Tim Bray resigned Monday over the firings of whistleblowers, saying that remaining in that role “would have meant, in effect, signing off on actions I despised.”