Virginia Amazon worker tests positive for COVID- 19

Posted at 1:25 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 13:52:33-04

ASHLAND, Va. -- Area Amazon employees received a voicemail Tuesday night informing them an employee at the Amazon RIC 5 location tested positive for COVID-19

Company officials said the employee who tested positive was last at the site Sunday, March 22.

"We understand the risk of transmission from employees who were not in close contact with the individual to be low," Amazon offcials said in the voicemail. "As per CDC guidance, if someone was found in close contact we will proactively reach out to them individually to advise them of their possible exposure to COVID-19."

Amazon officials said employees at the RIC 5 location have been made aware of the confirmed case and that if they opt not to come into work, they will not be penalized.

"We are supporting the individual who is recovering. We are following all guidelines from local health officials and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site," Rachael Lighty, an Amazon spokesperson, said.

In addition, Amazon officials said all employees who do test positive for COVID- 19 will be paid to ensure they do not worry about lost income while they are recovering.

Officials with the company stressed Amazon continues to make sure customers have essential items delivered during the COVID-19 crisis.

Depend on CBS 6 News and for the most complete coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Precautions

Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.