Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

NEW: Amazon Assessing Workers for Fevers, Issuing Masks

By Rhian Hunt – Apr 2, 2020 at 11:31AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The safety measures will be completely rolled out by sometime next week.

Amid a rising chorus of demands for action from concerned Amazon employees, union leaders, and politicians, Amazon (AMZN 0.41%) announced today it has begun using temperature checks and handing out masks to warehouse workers after the COVID-19 coronavirus sickened people at several of the company's facilities. Dave Clark, Senior VP of Worldwide Operations, provided details on Amazon's blog.

Clark noted Amazon was performing temperature checks at a few locations on Sunday, March 29. But now, the company is steadily increasing the fever screening's scope, taking the temperatures of approximately 100,000 workers as of today. It expects to be scanning all of its employees at locations, including Whole Foods, both in the USA and Europe by the start of next week.

Handing out surgical masks.

Image source: Getty Images

In keeping with CDC guidelines, any worker with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will be sent home. They are to remain away from work until they have been fever-free for at least three days.

In an effort to improve worker safety and prevent the spread of coronavirus, the company also purchased "millions" of face masks several weeks ago. These orders have arrived and distribution of the masks to employees starts today at some facilities. Amazon expects masks to be available at all warehouses by early next week, simultaneous with the rollout of universal temperature scans.

The move comes after workers performed highly publicized walkouts at several Amazon locations, as well as the firing of Staten Island employee Chris Smalls, who started a protest against lack of safety measures on the job.

Amazon began preparations for the current mask distribution and temperature scans weeks before the walkouts and protests. It also claims Smalls was fired for violating quarantine and putting others at risk of catching coronavirus, not for activism.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Rhian Hunt has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and recommends the following options: short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Amazon.com, Inc. Stock Quote
Amazon.com, Inc.
AMZN
$115.62 (0.41%) $0.47

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
327%
 
S&P 500 Returns
105%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 09/27/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.