An Ottawa Amazon Worker Got COVID-19 & Staff Reportedly Found Out Via Text
The Ottawa warehouse has hundreds of employees.
If a colleague of yours was diagnosed with COVID-19, you probably wouldn’t want to find out via text message. That’s what happened to employees at Amazon’s Boundary Road fulfillment centre in Ottawa, two weeks after the person left the job site. Now, the Amazon worker with COVID-19’s colleagues are speaking out.
Over the weekend, staff at one of Amazon Canada's distribution centres were surprised to receive a text message from their employer, informing them that a co-worker had tested positive for novel coronavirus.
The one-million-square-foot fulfillment centre, also known as YOW1, has hundreds of staff members, and hired 500 new employees in October last year.
According to a report from the Ottawa Citizen, the text message read, “We want to let you know we have a confirmed case of COVID-19 at YOW1."
The message went on to confirm that the affected associate’s last day on the site was March 19.
With the text allegedly arriving on Saturday, April 5, it was received over two weeks after the employee was last on the site.
The notice continued, “Your safety and health is our top priority. We have taken measures to keep you safe, increasing social distancing to 6 feet, staggering shifts, extending breaks, and even more frequent cleaning.”
Speaking to the Ottawa Citizen, one anonymous employee described the feeling of shock when she received the unexpected message.
“It was two weeks. How didn’t they let us know before? At least they had to let us know because there are many people there who have kids, parents in their home. I was so mad,” she said.
In a statement to Narcity, Amazon confirmed that a staff member at their Boundary Road facility had been diagnosed with COVID-19.
However, the company said that employees did not wait two weeks to be notified, stating "“All associates ... were notified within 24 hours of us learning of the positive COVID-19 case."
The company added that they are “following guidelines from health officials and medical experts, and is taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site.”
Team members who had close contact with the affected associate are being asked to stay at home and self-isolate.
Last week, the Canadian Government announced athat will help manage the delivery of essential health care items like masks, gloves, face shields, and gowns to the provinces and territories.
On their website, the global company promises to keep "working around the clock to ensure we continue to provide our essential services during this most critical time."
*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.