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Amazon Says 19,816 US Workers Tested Positive for Coronavirus

The e-commerce giant on Monday said it has investigated these cases and found “nothing unusual.”

Amazon.com Inc has received 18 lab reports indicating employees may have become infected with the potentially fatal coronavirus in the U.S. The Amazon data were posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and shared with employees and news organizations on Tuesday.

The exact number of confirmed cases is unclear, but the CDC lists 284 cases of the respiratory illness. Investigators have said that of those patients, 15 percent died.

The Amazon data showed that 19 U.S. employees were positive for the virus, but that it wasn’t an issue.

“We take any health concerns of our employees very seriously and are in the process of investigating these cases,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “There have been no confirmed health issues among U.S. Amazon employees.”

The CDC first reported on in April that it had found up to 9,300 confirmed cases of the respiratory illness across 13 countries, including as far as Guinea, Somalia, and Saudi Arabia. The virus spreads through breathing in droplets from an infected person’s sneeze or cough, or by touching an object infected with the virus. It usually affects the young, the elderly, and people with diabetes or lung diseases.

The Amazon data came from an emailed question-and-answer email from the company to employees responding to a story by TechCrunch. The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The health scare is the latest for Amazon, which already finds itself in the middle of a more-than-year-long labour dispute with its unions.

In February, the company reportedly fired the workers who were involved in the part of “informal” talks, though management denied claims. That same month, Amazon workers staged walkouts and organized protests, upset over plans to hire a third party to deliver packages without paying them to fulfil Amazon’s bulk orders.

Last fall, Amazon chief executive officer Jeff Bezos announced he was buying the Washington Post, the nation’s largest newspaper, for $250 million.

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