Two Amazon employees at a local fulfillment center have tested positive for COVID-19, the general manager informed employees on Thursday in a voicemail obtained by NSM Today.
"The infected individuals were last on site 16 days ago on March 18," said Mindy Espidio-Garcia, general manager at the Orlando 'MCO1' fulfillment center, in the voicemail. The fulfillment center is located in Lake Nona.
The facility became aware of the positive test results the day the announcement was made, Espidio-Garcia said.
“The site has been undergoing multiple enhanced cleanings during this time and the senior team and I are [inaudible] multiple times a day to ensure all areas are covered,” Espidio-Garcia said in her voicemail message.
Amazon provided an update Thursday on the measures the company plans to take to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in its latest blog posting. The measures include providing workers with personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer, as well as checking their temperatures, according to the blog.
The company has made "over 150 significant process changes to ensure the health and safety of our teams," according to the blog.
"Anyone registering a temperature over the CDC-recommended 100.4 F will be asked to return home and only come back to work after they've gone three days without a fever," Dave Clark, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations at Amazon, wrote in the blog posting.
The coronavirus can live on steel and plastic for up to 72 hours and up to 24 hours on cardboard, according to The New England Journal of Medicine. It took up to 72 hours for the virus to be detected on these surfaces during testing, according to the journal.
This isn't the first Amazon warehouse with confirmed cases of the coronavirus, as at least 11 facilities have reported cases, including one facility in Jacksonville, according to CNN.
Espidio-Garcia’s announcement comes just days after Amazon employees walked off the job at a distribution facility in Staten Island, New York. The walk out was in protest of the company’s decision to not close that facility after an employee tested positive for COVID-19, CBS News reported.
Espidio-Garcia said in her announcement that “associates will not be penalized for any absences and if [they] feel sick [they] should stay at home."
Symptoms of the coronavirus may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include fever, cough and shortness breath, according to the CDC.
“Thank you for everything you’re doing for the community during this unprecedented time," Espidio-Garcia said. "If you have any questions, please contact any manager in the building or HR.”