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Amazon has closed a warehouse in northern New Jersey till Dec. 26 after it noticed an uptick in asymptomatic coronavirus circumstances.
Workers on the Robbinsville Township, New Jersey, facility, referred to as PNE5, had been knowledgeable Saturday that the positioning would quickly shut, based on a discover obtained by CNBC.
Amazon staff shall be paid for any shifts that they’re going to miss whereas the power is shuttered, Amazon spokesperson Lisa Levandowski advised CNBC in a press release.
“By our in-house COVID-19 testing program, we detected a rise within the variety of asymptomatic constructive circumstances at our PNE5 facility in northern New Jersey and have proactively closed the positioning till December twenty sixth out of an abundance of warning,” Levandowski mentioned. “That is precisely why we constructed this system — to establish asymptomatic circumstances and make sure that we will take swift motion to stop unfold.”
Levandowski did not instantly reply to questions in regards to the whole variety of circumstances at PNE5 or whether or not the constructing will bear further cleansing whereas it is closed.
Amazon in October disclosed that nearly 20,000 front-line staff contracted Covid-19 between March 1 and Sept. 19. On the time, the corporate mentioned the speed of an infection amongst staff was 42% decrease than anticipated, compared with the overall inhabitants price within the U.S.
Amazon has beforehand shuttered different amenities for temporary stretches of time after it logged new coronavirus circumstances. In March, Amazon temporarily closed a supply station in Queens, New York after a employee examined constructive for the coronavirus. That month, it additionally closed a facility in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, after a number of staff there examined constructive.
Most of Amazon’s warehouses have remained open in the course of the pandemic, as they had been deemed important amenities, alongside grocery shops, pharmacies and banks, amongst different companies.
The corporate has beforehand mentioned it is gone to “great lengths” to maintain amenities clear and ensure staff are following crucial security precautions, reminiscent of carrying a masks, utilizing hand sanitizer, training social distancing and different measures. Amazon has additionally launched testing websites at a good portion of its warehouses and in October said it was conducting hundreds of exams a day.
Nonetheless, warehouse and supply staff throughout the U.S. have called on Amazon to do extra to guard front-line staff, together with reinstating non permanent pay will increase and offering paid sick go away.
Amazon is amongst a number of firms vying for his or her staff to get precedence entry to the coronavirus vaccine. Final week, Dave Clark, who runs Amazon’s retail operations, wrote to a Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention panel asking that warehouse staff, Complete Meals staff and knowledge heart staff “obtain the Covid-19 vaccine on the earliest acceptable time.”
On Sunday, the CDC panel voted that folks 75 and older and front-line important staff must be subsequent in line for the coronavirus vaccine. Firefighters, cops, academics, grocery staff, public transit and postal staff are among the many important staff included within the tier, referred to as section 1b. Different important staff are anticipated to be included within the third wave of recipients.