Corona Update: Amazon builds its own testing lab for staff
- Amazon is using thermal cameras for coronavirus temperature checks
- The company has added over 200,000 additional workers to meet increased demand onset by the coronavirus pandemic
- Cases of the virus have been reported among staff at more than 50 of Amazon's US warehouses
Technology: Cases of Covid-19 have been reported at more than 50 Amazon facilities across the US. Some have involved multiple infected workers.The company said it had assembled a team to build its own “incremental testing capacity”.
Amazon staff have previously criticized the firm over its response to the coronavirus pandemic. Amazon has now started to develop a test for the novel coronavirus in order to help restart the battered economy.
CEO Jeff Bezos in his annual letter to shareholders that regular testing for every industry is needed to “both help keep people safe and help get the economy back up and running.” He said for that to happen, society needs “vastly more testing capacity” than is currently available. He’s assembled a team of Amazon employees from various units to create new tools to test for Covid-19.
Bezos said Amazon will begin testing “small numbers” of employees soon. “We are not sure how far we will get in the relevant time frame, but we think it’s worth trying, and we stand ready to share anything we learn,” he wrote.
The company acknowledged that testing resources were limited, so it had assembled a team of employees to develop its own facility.
“We have begun assembling the equipment we need to build our first lab and hope to start testing small numbers of our front line employees soon. We are not sure how far we will get in the relevant timeframe, but we think it’s worth trying, and we stand ready to share anything we learn with others.”