Amazon says 19,000 US workers infected with coronavirus this year

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Amazon on Thursday said more than 19,000 of its US frontline workers contracted the coronavirus this year, or 1.44 per cent of the total, a disclosure long sought by labour advocates that had criticized its pandemic response.

Amazon said the number is far lower than expected, given the infection rate for the general population. The company, which encouraged other companies to report comparable figures, expects it will ramp to testing 50,000 US employees per day for the virus by November.

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Out of 1,372,000 front-lone employees for Amazon and its subsidiary Whole Foods Market, 19,816 tested positive for the virus or were presumed to have COVID-19 between March 1 and September 19, the company said. By contrast, 33,952 would have gotten the virus had Amazon’s rate of infection been as bad as that of the general populace, it said.

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