Shedding some inhibitions about sharing data related to the impact of Covid-19 on its warehouse workers, Amazon has said that 19,816 front-line employees in the US have tested positive or been presumed positive for the disease.
Amazon had earlier tried to play down the importance of sharing data on how the pandemic affected workers, despite criticism from current and former employees over the protection measures put in place by the e-commerce giant.
However, Amazon on Thursday said that it has done a thorough analysis of data on all 1.37 million Amazon and Whole Foods Market front-line employees across the US employed at any time from March 1 to September 19.
"We compared COVID-19 case rates to the general population, as reported by Johns Hopkins University for the same period, accounting for geography and the age composition of our employees to make the data as accurate as possible," Amazon said in a blog post.
"Based on this analysis, if the rate among Amazon and Whole Foods Market employees were the same as it is for the general population rate, we estimate that we would have seen 33,952 cases among our workforce," it added.
Amazon said that in reality, the number of employees who have tested positive or been presumed positive for Covid-19 is 42 per cent lower than the expected number.
You can see a full state-by-state chart of case rates among our front-line employees, along with additional details about our methodology and data sources, here.
"We've already launched and are ramping quickly, conducting thousands of tests a day and growing to 50,000 tests a day across 650 sites by November as part of our effort to keep our front-line employees safe," Amazon said.
And because we've built this testing capacity ourselves, we're adding to the total number of tests available --not taking supply from others," it added.
Amazon said it is investing "hundreds of millions of dollars" in the testing initiative, besides other safety measures for its front-line employees.