Amazon workers test positive for coronavirus at eight US warehouses as a doctor reveals the virus can live on packages for up to 24 HOURS

Amazon employees have tested positive for the coronavirus in at least eight US warehouses as experts reveal that the virus can live on packages for up to 24 hours. 
Workers at warehouses in Queens and Staten Island, New York, Shepherdsville, Kentucky, Jacksonville, Florida, Katy, Texas, Brownstown, Michigan, Wallingford, Connecticut and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma have tested positive for the virus. 
It's unclear how many employees for the online retail giant have been infected. 

An Amazon spokesperson told DailyMail.com in an emailed statement: 'We are supporting the individuals, following guidelines from local officials, and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of all the employees at our sites.'
The company says that all of the employees at the sites have been made aware of the confirmed cases.
Anyone who was in close contact with the diagnosed individuals have been asked to stay home with pay for 14-days in self-quarantine.
Amazon did not say whether any of the warehouses would temporarily close for cleaning purposes.  
Last week, Amazon confirmed the case of COVID-19 at their Queens fulfillment center, saying that they are 'supporting the individual who is now in quarantine'.
On Tuesday it was revealed that a Staten Island warehouse employee has also tested positive for the virus. 
In Florida, an individual who was last at Amazon's Jacksonville facility on March 18 is receiving medical care and is in quarantine. 
In a global coronavirus pandemic that has infected about 438,000 people and killed more than 19,600, Amazon workers have become as essential as first responders, providing food and other basics for millions of people who are isolating themselves under government stay-home directives. 
But in an interview with the Today show, Dr John Torres explained that people receiving deliveries from any company should be careful how they handle those packages. 
Torres explained that the virus can live on various surfaces for various times. 
'Anywhere from copper around four hours to stainless steel and plastic two-three days. Cardboard is right down the middle 24 hours is how long it could live on there and still be what we call viable, meaning it could still pass on coronavirus,' Torres said.  
Torres explained that people who are still receiving packages should throw away the outside package immediately and then wash your hands. 
'With the inside package you can do two things: You can let it sit there for 24 hours. It should go away at that point. If you need it now you can disinfect it on the outside which should help to some extent, but the main thing is once you handle that wash your hands before you touch your face,' Torres said. 
In a letter to his employees last weekend, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said he believes things are going to take a turn for the worse before they get any better.
'This isn't business as usual, and it's a time for great stress and uncertainty. It's also a moment in time when the work we're doing is its most critical,' the billionaire wrote in the memo shared on his Instagram. 
Bezos said: 'Across the world, people are feeling the economic effects of this crisis, and I'm sad to tell you I predict things are going to get worse before they get better.' 
The billionaire said Amazon is taking 'extreme measures' to protect all workers, including contracted drivers. 
Such efforts include 'tripling down on deep cleaning, procuring safety supplies that are available, and changing processes to ensure those in our buildings are keeping safe distances.
Amazon said it is giving its contracted delivery companies hand sanitizer and wipes to allow drivers to clean their vehicles. Asked about drivers' accounts that such supplies were unavailable, the company said some delivery sites 'may on occasion see brief shortages'.
As the crisis deepened last week, Bezos announced plans for 100,000 new workers to handle surging demand. 
But those openings will likely be easily filled with the masses of workers laid off from other hard-hit sectors such as restaurants because Amazon is among the few companies that is hiring. 
According to Bezos, hourly workers at warehouses will also receive double pay after 40 hours for overtime, up from the 1.5-times rate, from March 15 to May 9.
The company has temporarily boosted the pay for warehouse workers and contract drivers by $2 an hour in response to the pandemic, but the raises expire at the end of April.    
After the pandemic hit, Amazon announced it would set aside $25million for contracted delivery drivers to apply for up to two weeks paid leave if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine by the government or Amazon. 
The company has also staggered workers shifts and prohibited employees from sitting next to each other in the lunchroom to limit contact.
Bezos said in the letter that the company has 'implemented a series of preventative health measures for employees and contractors at our sites around the world - everything from increasing the frequency and intensity of cleaning to adjusting our practices in fulfillment centers to ensure the recommended social distancing guidelines'. 
He also said the company is trying to secure face masks for employees who cannot work from home.  
Bezos noted that masks are in short supply and millions of them are being sent to hospitals and medical centers where they are needed most.
'When our turn for masks comes, our first priority will be getting them into the hands of our employees and partners working to get essential products to people,' Bezos said. 

Amazon workers test positive for coronavirus at eight US warehouses as a doctor reveals the virus can live on packages for up to 24 HOURS Amazon workers test positive for coronavirus at eight US warehouses as a doctor reveals the virus can live on packages for up to 24 HOURS Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 10:27 Rating: 5

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