Amazon COVID-19 Outbreak Comes to Brooklyn Park, Maple Grove

4:46 PM The | 2020 June 24 Wednesday

The Amazon coronavirus outbreak that hit the Shakopee fulfillment center has also affected workers at the company’s warehouses in Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove.

Amazon COVID-19

Amazon’s Park 81 North facility in Maple Grove was built last year.

The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted at least 88 employees at the 860,000-square-foot Shakopee facility, according to Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) officials. Additionally, the outbreak has affected at least 14 Amazon workers at the Brooklyn Park warehouse and at least five other workers at the company’s Maple Grove facility.

“Most of the cases occurred in May,” said Kris Ehresmann, director of MDH’s infectious disease division. “There have been a couple of cases since then.”

Workers at the Shakopee plant on Wednesday demanded that Amazon temporarily close the facility so that it can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. They also asked Minnesota Governor Tim Walz to step in if the company doesn’t take action. Approximately 1,000 people work at the Shakopee facility. At all Amazon sites in Minnesota, the company has more than 15,000 employees and partners per hour.

Amazon statement for CCX News

Amazon officials addressed concerns about whether the spread of the new coronavirus was the result of security protocols and procedures at company facilities. Jen Crowcroft, an Amazon spokeswoman, provided the following statement Wednesday night to CCX News.

We use a variety of data to closely monitor the security of our buildings and there is strong evidence that our employees are not spreading the virus at work; What we see in general is that the general infection rate and the increase or decrease in the total number of cases is highly correlated with the overall infection rate in the community. During the COVID-19 months, thousands of employees and partners have worked at our Shakopee site and we strongly believe that people are not spreading the virus at work because of the robust security measures we have put in place. ” – Jen Crowcroft, Amazon spokesperson.

MDH paid a visit to the Amazon site

Ehresmann said Wednesday at the MDH press conference that a state task force reached out to Amazon management to work on steps to improve the safety of company employees.

“They have taken those steps. And we’ve seen a reduction in cases, “said Ehresmann.

According to MDH officials, the state reviewed a variety of safety protocols, including whether Amazon workers were 6 feet apart and how the company handled breaks, ensuring that large numbers of employees did not take them at the same time. weather. MDH also made recommendations on how they evaluate employees and looked at whether the company can put physical barriers between workers, Ehresmann said.

Crowcroft says state health and safety regulatory agencies have inspected 91 of its facilities across the country since March and have passed all on-site inspections.

“Each time, Amazon has been praised for going beyond current compliance requirements,” said Crowcroft.

Amazon now also requires workers to wear face masks and perform temperature checks. The company lists its security steps here.

MDH officials also answered questions about whether Amazon packages can transfer the virus to customers. Ehresmann has said that the risk is low. He also said that some studies have shown that cardboard is not a good surface to keep the virus viable, compared to plastic and stainless steel surfaces. You can read one of those studies here.

Brooklyn Park | Grove grove