Amazon has finally shut a US warehouse indefinitely after 3 workers tested positive for COVID-19
- Amazon has indefinitely shut a returns center in Shepherdsville, Kentucky after three workers tested positive for coronavirus.
- Originally the facility was only supposed to remain closed for 48 hours, but staff protested returning as the warehouse is focused on the return of non-essential items such as sneakers and watches.
- This is the first major Amazon facility to fully close during the coronavirus pandemic.
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Amazon has shut down a warehouse indefinitely for the first time after three workers tested for COVID-19, and colleagues protested returning to work.
Bloomberg reported the closure, and the fact that workers felt their facility wasn't doing essential work and it wasn't worth the risk of coming in. The Kentucky facility primarily processes returned items, rather than shipping items out to customers, employees told the publication.
Staff were told on Monday that the Kentucky facility would close for 48 hours for a deep-clean following the diagnoses. On Wednesday, hours before some workers were due to go on shift, employees received an automated call informing them the facility would stay shut indefinitely for more cleaning, four employees told Bloomberg. Employees will be paid
The call said employees would be paid while the facility was shut down, and the company would get back in touch once it has an opening date.
Amazon was not immediately available for comment on Bloomberg's report when contacted by Business Insider.
This is the first Amazon facility to shutter indefinitely during the coronavirus outbreak.
At least ten warehouses across the US and Europe have reported confirmed cases of the virus, but Amazon has kept them open on the basis that it is delivering essential goods to people confined to their homes.
Last week the company announced it was halting shipments of non-essential goods to its warehouses. It is on a massive hiring drive to keep up with the sudden surge in demand.
The retail giant hasn't switched over completely to purely essential deliveries, however. A warehouse worker from a Queens, New York warehouse previously told Business Insider that they were still shipping off non-vital goods. "I wouldn't call a prom dress or a Rolex 'essential items,'" they said.