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Outbreak Strikes Amazon Warehouse in Minnesota

Eleven workers in the state have been hospitalized.

This story has been updated with additional background as well as a statement from Amazon. 

According to the AP, 88 workers have tested positive for COVID-19 at an Amazon fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minn. About 1,000 people work at the facility located 30 miles southwest of Minneapolis. 

Another 99 employees have tested positive at Amazon locations in the Twin Cities area.

According to the Star Tribune, none of the workers have died, but 11 have been hospitalized.

Amazon has been hesitant to share data on infected workers.

A company spokesperson stated that infection rates at Amazon's U.S. facilities are equal to or below the rates of surrounding communities.

"We utilize a variety of data to closely monitor the safety of our buildings and there is strong evidence that our employees are not proliferating the virus at work โ€” what we see generally is that the overall rate of infection and increase or decrease of total cases is highly correlated to the overall community rate of infection," said Jen Crowcroft, Amazon spokeswoman, in a statement to Industrial Media. "Over the months of COVID-19, thousands of employees and partners have worked at our Shakopee site and we believe strongly people are not spreading the virus at work given the robust safety measures weโ€™ve put into place."

Amazon requires face masks, takes employee temperatures and alerts workers via text message when cases are confirmed. Still, workers have asked for more information, including the number of people infected.

According to Amazon, it has more than 15,000 hourly employees and partners across all Amazon sites in Minnesota.

Since March 2020, state health and safety regulatory agencies have inspected 91 Amazon facilities and all on-site inspections have passed. According to the company, the agencies have "praised" the facilities for going beyond current compliance requirements. 

Additional information, and daily updates, regarding Amazon's COVID-19 response is available on the company's blog.

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