Amazon informed U.S. warehouse workers on Friday that it would once again require them to use masks to work in response to the spread of the more contagious COVID-19 delta variant (via CNBC and Bloomberg). The company says it will offer get vaccines for more than half a million workers, but it requires workers to be covered regardless of the vaccination status.
Amazon confirmed the mask credential by email to Limit:
In response to the proliferation of new variants of COVID-19 in the United States and the guidance of public health authorities and our own medical experts, we are demanding indoor face protection regardless of the vaccination status. We will closely monitor the situation and continue to follow local government guidelines and work closely with leading healthcare professionals and gather their advice and recommendations to ensure that our building is optimized for the safety of our teams.
Non-warehouse workers do not currently need to address Amazon’s policy change. The company recently adjusted its plans to return to the office on 5 August, returns its return date January 2022. Like other companies, Amazon had previously considered implementing a hybrid work schedule, plans are to get office workers back into the offices for at least part of the week starting September 7th.
Taking extra precautions for warehouse workers seems like the right idea if it intends to keep staff working in person. Amazon announced in October 2020 that 19,816 workers out of its 1,372,000 front-line workers in Whole Foods and Amazon received COVID-19 “or if assumed positive” on March 1-19. September 2020.