Eighth Amazon warehouse worker dies from COVID-19

Another Amazon warehouse worker has died from COVID-19, bringing the total known deaths to eight employees, the company said Thursday.

The female employee worked in packing at the fulfillment center outside Cleveland in North Randall, Ohio, known as CLE2, Amazon said. She had been with the company since November 2018.

The employee last went to work on April 30, the same day she was diagnosed, said Amazon spokesperson Lisa Levandowski. The e-commerce giant learned of her positive test results on May 8 and was informed of her death by her sister-in-law on May 18.

“We are saddened by the loss of an associate who had worked at our site in Randall, Ohio,” Levandowski said. “Her family and loved ones are in our thoughts, and we are supporting her fellow colleagues.”

Amazon said it was providing counseling to other employees at the warehouse. The woman’s colleagues were notified of her positive test result verbally, according to Levandowski. Amazon says it conducts contact tracing for every positive test, utilizing video surveillance to track employees’ locations and proximity to each other.

Amazon said no other associates were linked to the woman.

The company has repeatedly declined to disclose to NBC News how many warehouse workers nationwide have tested positive or died from the coronavirus illness.

“We don’t think that number is super valuable,” Levandowski said.

Amazon has been under pressure from current and former employees to provide safer conditions at its warehouses. The company told NBC News it began deep cleaning of high-touch areas, like elevator buttons, door handles and handrails, in late February and early March. Disinfectant spraying, called “fogging,” began three weeks ago in all warehouses, including at the North Randall location. Masks were made available and required as of April 15.

NBC News has confirmed that seven other Amazon warehouse workers have died after testing positive for coronavirus in Staten Island, New York; Waukegan, Illinois; Hawthorne, California; Tracy, California; Bethpage, New York; Jeffersonville, Indiana; and Indianapolis, Indiana.

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