Amazon, one of the most prominent delivery service platform in the world, has continued to provide to its customers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On March 27, a group of employees were clumped together, waiting for an announcement. A manager, using a loudspeaker, revealed what they did not want to hear: An employee has been tested positive for COVID-19.
Some employees immediately went home, cutting their time. Therese Kelly, 63 years old, and an Amazon employee continued to work as the company faces a surge of orders due to the number of people unable to get out of their homes.
Working amid the conditions
According to the New York Times, the Amazon warehouse located in the base of the Pocono Mountains in Northeast Pennsylvania has developed into the worst-stricken warehouse by the coronavirus.
The number of positive cases in the warehouse tops those of any other warehouse within the United States, which is home to more than 500 facilities.
More than 100 workers are believed to be infected with the virus; local lawmakers state as an accurate number is currently unknown.
The company has been giving real-time announcements whenever one of its employees was tested positive. When the tally reached 60, however, actual numbers were withheld. This was also observed in other facilities around the world.
The number of infected is estimated to be at more than 900 personnel, which is relatively small in size compared to the 400,000 workers that the company employs. The proportion, however, understates the impact the coronavirus has on the workers.
The rise in demand for Amazon's services is a result of the pandemic causing a massive panic buying frenzy among the world's population. The company hired 100,000 more employees to meet the needs of its customers. It has even collaborated with Lyft to increase its efficiency in delivering its products.
With the coronavirus pandemic creating an increased demand for products as well as streaming services, Amazon utilized its "Prime Video" as another platform that caters to victims of the pandemic around the world, all the while staying at home, as reported by Marketwatch.
Amazon's fight against the coronavirus
Amazon faced the pandemic up close as it worked together with an infectious disease specialist to ensure the safety of its workers for continued services. The company told its employees that they could work from home beginning March 5.
The warehouse where Ms Kelly worked at products that came from China and anywhere else were removed from trucks and segregated into smaller packages which are then placed into other trucks for delivery.
Mid-March saw the implementation of safety protocols to fight the spread of the coronavirus, but they were conducted without precision. One such example was when the staff responsible for overseeing the procedures opted for a photo on March 17, they stood right next to each other, neglecting social distancing.
The one in charge with the company's global operations, Dave Clark, said in a statement that "we were earlier than most when rolling out broad protective measures for our teams, and we've adapted every day to make improvements," while emphasizing the warehouse's location being in a high infection rate area. Mr Clark also said, "We believe our efforts are working."