Amazon reduces isolation time for COVID-positive workers

Employees will also be granted 40 hours of paid sick leave

Amazon reduces isolation time for COVID-positive workers

Amazon has informed employees that they will be cutting down isolation time employees who test positive for COVID-19. In a memo obtained and reported by Reuters, the e-commerce giant told staff that isolation period for positive workers is reduced to seven days from the original 10 days, effective immediately. Workers also get 40 hours of paid leave if they test positive for COVID-19, according to Amazon, with additional leave options available for them if they remain symptomatic beyond a week.

The memo comes as the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention announced that they will be trimming down isolation time for COVID-positive individuals from 10 days to just five, as long as they are not suffering from the symptoms. However, they need to keep their masks on around other people for five more days. Those exposed to the virus would also following the same protocol, CNet reported. 

Read more: Amazon begins making coronavirus testing lab for workforce

The new guidelines come as the United States exceeds 60 million total cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University. The latest surge of new cases is driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Amazon is the second-last private employer in the United States, with its chief executive officer Andy Jassy previously admitting that the company could have done better in assisting employees when the outbreak first began.

Jassy attributed the company's shortcomings to an overwhelmed system that received an unprecedent number of requests. The company has since rolled out support for staff amid the pandemic, including allotting $15 billion to keep its staff safe while working, offering on-site vaccinations, and incentivising the jabs to increase turnout.

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