Amazon Fulfillment Center in Joliet Stays Open Despite Coronavirus Case

The facility remains open despite an employee testing positive for the coronavirus


An employee at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in suburban Joliet has tested positive for the coronavirus, but the company has no plans to close the facility at this time.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed this week that a worker has tested positive, but is no longer on site.

"We are supporting the individual who is recovering," Amazon spokesman Timothy Carter wrote in an email. "We are following guidelines from local officials and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at the site."

The company tweeted a press release March 25 sharing how it plans to support its employees and customers.

Plans include practicing social distancing by cancelling standing meetings and spreading out chairs in the break room, as well as a variety of other new protocols.

Other adjustments are being made to ensure employee safety, according to a release from Amazon. Adjustment include:

- 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

- Moving chairs and spreading out tables in break rooms

- shift start times and break times are being staggered

- Suspended exit screening until further notice to ensure ease of movement near main entrances

- Temporary cell phone process for those who need to be in contact with their families or childcare providers

- 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 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 percent alcohol.

"Much of the essential work we do cannot be done from home. We’ve implemented a series of preventative health measures for employees and contractors at our sites around the world — everything from increasing the frequency and intensity of cleaning to adjusting our practices in fulfillment centers to ensure the recommended social distancing guidelines," Amazon CEO and Founder Jeff Bezos said in a March 21 message to customers.

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