Online retail giant Amazon to build an in-house testing lab to help monitor staffs health during COVID-19
As the number of confirmed positive cases within Amazon has increased the e-commerce giant has begun developing its own lab to screen its workers for coronavirus. According to reports Amazon' will be using antigen testing for its staff, which is a diagnostic test to determine if a person is infected, instead of a blood test which detects antibodies made by the immune system when a person is exposed to the Covid-19 virus.
Amazon CEO said. "Those who test positive could be quarantined and cared for, and everyone who tests negative could re-enter the economy with confidence. We have begun assembling the equipment we need to build our first lab and hope to start testing small numbers of our frontline employees soon,"
Amazon has stated that they have moved research scientists, program managers, procurement specialists and software engineers from their normal duties to a team dedicated to this staff wellbeing initiative.
With employees in at least 64 of its shipping and warehouse facilities who have tested positive for Covid-19, Amazon has made more than 150 significant process changes to help keep their 750,000 staff safe in response to this global pandemic.
Due to the increase in online sales during this time, the company has delayed shipping nonessential items to prioritise household necessities which are generally in short supply due to the worldwide isolation rules, such as bleach and toilet paper.
As Amazon struggles to meet shoppers online demands they realised the importance of staff safety so began handing warehouse workers face masks and is now checking the temperatures of all employees before they start their shifts and are sending workers home for up to three days if their temperature is 38C or higher. Further rules have been imposed such as safe distancing during the working day in all parts of the business.
The billionaire founder Jeff Bezos outlined steps the Company will take to help curb the exposure to the coronavirus in his annual letter to shareholders. It included shutting down non-essential services like Amazon Books to overhauling processes at Whole Foods.
“Regular testing on a global scale, across all industries, would both help keep people safe and help get the economy back up and running. For this to work, we as a society would need vastly more testing capacity than is currently available,” Bezos said.
For those who are still working during the global lockdown, we thank you for your hard work and dedication during this time.