SAN MARCOS, Texas – Several employees at the Amazon warehouse in San Marcos have tested positive for COVID-19, though officials didn’t specify how many employees tested positive or what their positions are at the warehouse.
Amazon spokesman Jen Crowcroft sent KSAT a statement that said Amazon is “supporting the individuals who are recovering. Our top concern is ensuring the health and safety of our employees.”
Crowcroft said Amazon plans to invest $4 billion from April to June on initiatives that will help get products to customers while keeping employees safe.
“This includes spending more than $800 million in the first half of the year on COVID-19 safety measures, with investments in personal protective equipment, enhanced cleaning of our facilities, less efficient process paths that better allow for effective social distancing, higher wages for hourly teams, and developing our own COVID-19 testing capabilities, etc.,” according to Crowcroft’s statement.
Amazon has chosen to take a different approach than some companies by informing every employee when someone tests positive for COVID-19 in their building. All employees who work on a given site will be notified, not just the ones who have possibly come into contact with the diagnosed person, according to Amazon officials.
Anyone at one of the Amazon buildings who is thought to have had close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 is asked not to return and to self-quarantine for 14 days. Amazon still pays employees for their time while they are at home, Crowcroft confirmed.
Some of the steps Amazon has taken to ensure the security of staff include:
- 150 process updates —from enhanced cleaning and social distancing measures to new efforts like disinfectant spraying
- Immediately investigating any situation where teams don’t follow social distancing guidelines
- Distribution of masks for employees, disinfectant spraying and temperature checks across Amazon operations worldwide
- Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive up to two weeks of paid time off in addition to their other paid and unpaid time off options
- The building of scalable testing for coronavirus is in the works
- Amazon has filled 100,000 new jobs since March and is adding 75,000 more to help meet customer demand and assist existing employees fulfilling orders
- Increased pay has been given to hourly employees by $2 per hour in the U.S. (pay increases have been given to many Amazon workers worldwide)
- Amazon doubled the regular hourly base pay for every overtime hour worked and is offering extra time off with full pay for those diagnosed with COVID-19