Amazon shortens COVID isolation time, paid leave for US workers

The Amazon logo is seen outside its JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island, New York, U.S.

The Amazon logo is seen outside its JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island, New York, U.S. (Brendan McDermid, Reuters)


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SEATTLE — Amazon.com Inc on Friday told workers they only have to isolate for a week after testing positive for COVID-19, instead of 10 days, following updated U.S. health guidance.

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has prompted a spike in cases in the United States and worker shortages at schools, airlines and businesses. On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention backed recent guidance that people who contract the virus can end their isolation after five days.

In a message to staff, which Amazon shared with Reuters, the online retailer said its new week-long isolation policy took effect immediately. Workers with the virus can receive up to 40 hours paid leave, a decrease corresponding to the shorter isolation period.

"Do not come to work if you are sick," the message said. "Additional leave options are available for individuals who remain symptomatic beyond one week."

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the news.

With hundreds of thousands of warehouse and logistics staff, Amazon is the second-largest U.S. private employer. Walmart Inc, the largest, this week told workers it was halving its COVID-19 paid leave in line with the updated CDC guidance.

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Reuters

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