Thursday, May 21, 2020

'We would like to get in there': Kenosha officials frustrated as over 30 Amazon workers contract COVID-19

From JSOnline:

, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

At least 32 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed at Amazon's facilities in Kenosha County. (Photo: Mike De Sisti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

At least 32 workers at the Amazon campus in Kenosha have contracted coronavirus in the past two months, according to messages sent to employees and shared with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Amazon officials have not fully cooperated with public health workers trying to track cases, inform workers who might be at risk or offering testing and other safety measures, said Jen Freiheit, health officer for Kenosha County. 
“We’re at the point now that since we’re not getting that, we’re going to look into what other measures we can take for Amazon, because we are not getting as far with compliance as we would like,” Freiheit said. 
If Amazon officials do not cooperate with health officials, Freiheit said she would consider attempting to shut down the Kenosha facilities. 
Amazon has not provided an official total number of cases at its Kenosha facilities to county health officials and declined to provide the number to the Journal Sentinel.
"We are supporting the individuals who are recovering," Amazon spokeswoman Jen Crowcroft said in a statement. "Our top concern is ensuring the health and safety of our employees."
The Journal Sentinel confirmed at least 32 cases at the Amazon facilities based on screenshots of text messages and voice messages sent by Amazon managers to employees as new cases were confirmed. Those messages were provided to the Journal Sentinel by workers.
Workers told the Journal Sentinel they believe the number of positive cases is higher. 
Amazon management has refused to say how many workers have tested positive nationwide at its workplaces. But Jana Jumpp, who is on leave from her job at an Amazon facility in Indiana, has been tracking cases across the country with the help of workers.
As of Wednesday, Jumpp said she had confirmed 941 cases using screenshots of text messages and other verification methods. She was working on confirming another 94, she said.
Seven Amazon employees, including a 50-year-old who worked at a Waukegan warehouse, have died from the virus, she said, the same number reported last week by the Indianapolis Star

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