Amazon shuts New Jersey facility till Dec. 26 as virus cases rise among workers

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Amazon logo is seen at the company’s logistics center in Boves

(Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 said Sunday it had closed one of its stores in New Jersey out of caution until Dec. 26, after seeing an increase in asymptomatic positive cases among workers.

“Through our internal COVID-19 testing program, we discovered an increase in the number of asymptomatic positive cases at our PNE5 facility in northern New Jersey and have proactively closed the site until Dec. 26 out of an abundance of caution,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement to Reuters.

Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, did not specify the number of workers who contracted the disease at its PNE5 facility, which is a sorting center.

However, the company said employees are being paid for the shifts they are missing due to the closure of the facility.

In October, Amazon said more than 19,000 of its U.S. frontline workers were contracted with coronavirus this year, or 1.44% of the total, a request requested by workers’ attorneys who have criticized the company’s COVID-19 response .

Some employees, elected officials and unions in recent months have said that Amazon is endangering the health of its employees by keeping stocks open during the pandemic.

The company had said it would expand virus testing to 50,000 U.S. employees a day in November through internally built capacity.

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