Amazon Employee in Seattle Tests Positive for COVID-19

March 3, 2020 Updated: March 4, 2020

An Amazon employee in Seattle has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to an internal email viewed by The Epoch Times.

The infected employee, who is based in the company’s Brazil office at Ninth Avenue and Republican Street in South Lake Union, went home “feeling unwell” on Feb. 25 and has not returned to the office building since, the email circulated to Amazon employees said.

The March 3 message stated that Amazon had now received confirmation that the employee has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Epoch Times reached out to an Amazon spokesperson who confirmed the news. “We’re supporting the affected employee who is in quarantine,” they said.

The company said in its internal email that it had notified all employees who had been working in close contact—defined as being closer than six feet over a prolonged period of time—with the infected employee.

“The risk of transmission for employees who were not in close contact with this individual is assessed to be low,” the email said.

Amazon email
Part of an internal email that Amazon’s Brazil office in South Lake Union, Seattle, in Washington sent to its employees after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 on March 3, 2020. (Supplied)

A source has told The Epoch Times that the employee is not involved with the company’s delivery operations.

Amazon advised its employees who are experiencing symptoms associated with the novel coronavirus to remain at home and seek medical attention. It added that it is continuing with “enhanced deep cleaning and sanitization in the office.”

The news comes as two Amazon employees in Milan were quarantined after testing positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, concerns of community spread of the virus across the United States continue to escalate, with at least 12 states across the country reporting cases.

Washingon state—one of the states most impacted by the virus so far—has confirmed 27 cases and nine deaths as of Tuesday.

All 27 confirmed cases in Washington are clustered in two adjacent Puget Sound counties in the greater Seattle area, making it the largest concentration detected to date by the U.S. public health system.

Another 231 people are currently being monitored for the virus, health officials said.

State governor Jay Inslee on Feb. 29 declared a state of emergency to “prepare for what could likely be a worldwide pandemic.” 

“This is a time to take common-sense, proactive measures to ensure the health and safety of those who live in Washington state,” Inslee said in a statement, adding that the nation’s priority now is to slow the spread of the virus. 

He said the declaration will allow the state to mobilize all necessary resources to assist affected communities, including utilizing the Washington National Guard.

Public health officials have warned the United States will likely see a surge of confirmed coronavirus cases, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a policy change that would allow specific laboratories to develop and use their own validated COVID-19 screening tests before receiving authorization from the agency.  

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