Two Amazon warehouses have had active COVID-19 outbreaks spanning more than 565 days, report says

Two Amazon warehouses have had active COVID-19 outbreaks spanning more than 565 days, report says
Workers in an Amazon warehouse.picture alliance/Getty Images
  • Two Amazon warehouses in Oregon have had COVID-19 outbreaks for more than 560 days.
  • This is according to state health data obtained by The Markup.

Two Amazon warehouses in Oregon are in the midst of active COVID-19 outbreaks that have been dragging on for more than 560 days, according to state health records obtained by tech news site The Markup.

Amazon's Aumsville and Troutdale warehouses have the longest-running active COVID-19 outbreaks in the state, according to Oregon Health Authority records viewed by The Markup — outstripping a hospital and a prison.

The OHA considers outbreaks "active" if additional cases crop up within 28 days of an initial case being reported, according to the state documents. The Aumsville warehouse's outbreak has lasted 566 days, while Troutdale's clocks in at 565 days.

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Amazon did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider for comment on The Markup's report.

The Aumsville warehouse has had 233 COVID-19 cases from May 2020 to December 12 of this year, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration data obtained by The Markup via a public records request. The Troutdale warehouse has had 453 cases in the same period.


The Troutdale warehouse recorded 51 cases the first two weeks of December, according to the OSHA data seen by The Markup.

Data from the OHA viewed by The Markup showed COVID-19 cases in Oregon Amazon warehouses rose this fall, after the company rolled back some of its COVID-19 safety policies, including on-site testing and lengthened breaks.

A worker at the Aumsville warehouse called Kendra Bartelmez-Forster told The Markup she noticed an uptick in the number of COVID-19 case notifications from the company on her phone in August. "It was almost daily," she told The Markup.

Workers at two Amazon warehouses in Chicago walked out in protest over labor and workplace safety issues Wednesday. One of their demands, alongside higher wages, was a return to the longer 20-minute break Amazon had instituted across its US facilities as a pandemic safety measure. The break was cut back down to 15 minutes on October 6, according to a text sent to warehouse workers seen by The Markup.

An Amazon spokesperson told Insider earlier on Thursday that the company respected employees' right to protest and that it was "proud to offer employees leading pay, competitive benefits, and the opportunity to grow with our company."


CNBC reported Wednesday that Amazon sent a letter to warehouse employees telling them it's bringing back its mask mandate for staff in response to the Omicron variant.