Amazon closes New Jersey warehouse after testing workers for coronavirus

Amazon has closed a warehouse in northern New Jersey until December 26, as it saw an increase in asymptomatic coronovirus cases.

According to a notice received by CNBC, employees in Robbinsville Township, New Jersey, a facility known as PNE5, were informed Saturday that the site would be temporarily closed.

Amazon employees will be paid for any changes that will miss them during the facility’s closure, Amazon spokesman Lisa Lewandowski told CNBC in a statement.

“Through our in-house COVID-19 testing program, we detected an increase in the number of asymptomatic positive cases at our PNE5 facility in northern New Jersey and carefully closed the site until December 26,” Lewandowski said. . “This is precisely why we created the program – to identify asymptomatic cases and to ensure that we can take prompt action to stop the spread.”

Lewandowski did not immediately respond to questions about total cases on PNE5 or whether it would have to undergo additional cleaning during the building’s closure.

In October, Amazon revealed that between March 1 and September 19, about 20,000 front-line employees contracted the Kovid-19. At the time, the company stated that the rate of infection among employees was 42% lower than the general population rate. In america

Amazon has previously discontinued other features for a brief period of time after logging new coronovirus cases. In March, Amazon temporarily closed a distribution station in Queens, New York after it tested positive for Queensovirus. That month, it also closed a facility in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, as several workers there tested positive.

Most of Amazon’s warehouses remained open during the epidemic, as they were deemed essential facilities with grocery stores, pharmacies and banks, among other businesses.

The company has previously stated that it has gone to “great lengths” to keep facilities clean and employees to follow necessary safety precautions, such as wearing a mask, using hand sanitizers, practicing social disturbances and other measures do. Amazon has also launched testing sites in a significant portion of its warehouses and said in October that it is conducting thousands of tests a day.

Still, warehouse and delivery employees across the US have called for Amazon to protect front-line employees, including restoring temporary wage increases and providing paid sick leave.

Amazon is one of several companies that prioritize their employees for the coronovirus vaccine. Last week, Dave Clark, who runs Amazon’s retail operations, wrote to a Center for Disease Control and Prevention panel that warehouse workers, Whole Foods employees and data center employees “received the Kovid-19 vaccine at the earliest appropriate time We do.”

On Sunday, the CDC panel voted that 75 more older and front-line staff must be in the front line for the Coronavi vaccine. Firefighters, police officers, teachers, grocery workers, public transit and postal workers are among the essential workers involved in the tier, known as Phase 1B. Other essential workers are expected to be included in the third wave of recipients.

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