Amazon Worker Tests Positive for Coronavirus, Customers Begin To Worry - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise magazine Fall 2019 issue

After an Amazon warehouse worker tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this week, customers are beginning to wonder if the packages they are receiving from the retail giant may have the virus on them.

According to Fox Business, a study published last week determined that the coronavirus can live in the air for several hours and on cardboard for up to a day, leaving some Amazon customers worried about bringing packages inside their residence.

“For cardboard, I’ve been actually opening my packages outside,” Fox News medical contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier said Thursday. “I take scissors, I open it, and I empty the package outside. The cardboard never actually comes into our house.”

Dr. Saphier added people should “pretend that everything has the virus on it,” saying, “If you treat it that way, you’re going to give you and your family the best bet of not bringing it into your home.”

As for the individual who tested positive, Amazon said he is getting medical treatment and its cleaning processes in warehouses are being changed to deal with the virus.

“We are supporting the individual who is now in quarantine,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “We have implemented proactive measures to protect employees including increased cleaning at all facilities, maintaining social distance, and adding distance between drivers and customers when making deliveries.

“In addition to our enhanced daily deep cleaning, we temporarily closed the Queens delivery station for additional sanitation and sent associates home with full pay,” the spokesperson added.

According to Saphier, the majority of cases happen from person to person contact. The New England Journal of Medicine said the virus can stay on copper for up to four hours and on plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours.

“The reason we’re seeing [an increase in] cases is likely because they believe it’s not only respiratory transmission, but it’s starting to aerosolize, which is why so many health care workers are getting it because it stays in the air longer.”

The coronavirus outbreak has affected the stock market, the job market and even rent payments. More than 200,000 people across the world have been diagnosed and more than 10,000 have died.