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Amazon has ordered the closure of Canadian facilities for fear of increasing COVID-19 cases

Amazon.com has been ordered to shut down a facility outside Toronto for two weeks as public health officials worry about an increase in COVID-19 cases inside the complex.

Although the level of COVID-19 infection has been falling in the Philippines over the past few weeks, the level of a performance center in Brampton, Ontario, is “rising significantly,” a local health authority said in a statement on Friday. The agency notes that any employee of the site can feel the “high risk impact”.

“This Amazon facility is located in a vulnerable community and employs thousands of people,” said Lawrence S., an employee of the Pill County Health Department. Loch. “It was a difficult decision, but a necessary one to stop spreading in the future, both in the institution and in our community.”

Amazon disagreed with the conclusions of the health authority. “We just finished the last period of our mandatory test with a positive of less than 1%, it seems that the risk of spreading in our institution is small,” said the company spokesman. By mail: “We do not believe the data supports this closure. We will appeal this decision.”

Amazon has been dealing with COVID-19 in its warehouses and other logistics facilities for more than a year after the first cases of the virus were discovered in its early European hotspots.

The retail chain giant preferred to protect outbreak establishments with enhanced cleanup and social exclusion rather than shutting them down.

Exceptions include the Kentucky warehouse, which the governor of the state ordered closed after last year’s outbreak, and the New Jersey warehouse was temporarily closed in December after asymptomatic cases were detected.

All employees of a Canadian institution are required to complete self-isolation within 14 days if they have not tested positive or completed the isolation period in the last 90 days.

Peel Public Health is said to be working with Amazon Canada to control the outbreak. The two-week closure will give Amazon Canada time to consider “additional operational changes” proposed by local health authorities.

About 20,000 Amazon employees had COVID-19 in the first six months of the epidemic, a level of infection that Amazon says is lower than expected from an employer of its size, although some experts say the company is unsatisfactory. provided data to evaluate that claim.

“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our employees, the communities we serve,” said an Amazon spokesperson. “We have done everything we can to support them and keep them safe from the epidemic, including by regularly requiring 100% testing of all employees at the Ontario facility.”

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