Amazon worker in W. Columbia diagnosed with COVID-19

Protecting yourself from coronavirus

WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - An employee at an Amazon warehouse in Lexington County tested positive for the coronavirus, but the center is not closing, company officials said.

The person works at the Amazon fulfillment center in West Columbia.

“We are supporting the individual who is recovering,” Amazon spokesman Timothy Carter said in a statement. “We are following guidelines from health officials and medical experts and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site.”

While the company alerted all employees at the warehouse of the confirmed case of the coronavirus, some reached out to WIS concerned about the center not closing.

Amazon said it will let associates know if they had close contact with the person who has the virus. Those people will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, during which they will be paid, the company said.

Company officials also said there are new measures in place to protect the health of employees at every Amazon site, including “delivery and transportation partners.”

Amazon said it has implemented the following measures:

  • Increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning at all sites including regular sanitization of all door handles, stairway handrails, elevator buttons, lockers, and touch screens, to name a few.
  • Adjusted practices to ensure social distancing within our buildings, including:
    1. No stand-up meetings during shifts – all business essential information will be shared via boards near main areas and through conversations with managers, or HR team members
    2. Moving chairs and spreading out tables in breakrooms
    3. Shift start times and break times are being staggered to promote social distancing
    4. Suspended exit screening until further notice to ensure ease of movement near main entrances
    5. Enabled temporary cell phone process for those who need to be in contact with their families or childcare providers
    6. Training will take place in small formats and with in-app training tools and other equipment
  • Requiring employees to stay home and seek medical attention if they are feeling unwell and have adjusted attendance policies to support this.
  • Requiring employees to sanitize and clean their work stations and vehicles at the start and end of every shift with disinfectant/cleaning wipes.
  • Asked employees to defer non-essential travel.
  • Moved to video-based interviews for the majority of our candidate interviews.
  • Communicated to employees that everyone must wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

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