Calgary

Worker at Amazon warehouse near Calgary sounds alarm over growing number of COVID-19 cases

A worker at the Amazon warehouse north of Calgary says the company has notified staff about four new cases of COVID-19 recently — bringing the total to five.

'They should shut the facility for a few days and sanitize the whole facility'

Five employees at the Amazon warehouse north of Calgary have tested positive for COVID-19. This is a file photo of another Amazon facility. (Mark Lennihan/The Associated Press)

A worker at the Amazon warehouse north of Calgary says the company has notified staff about four new cases of COVID-19 recently — bringing the total to five.

"We are scared," said the employee, who spoke to CBC News on the condition that they not be identified for fear of job repercussions.

"We have a big concern. But we still come in."

The company first reported on April 12 that there had been one confirmed case among the more than 1,000 full-time workers at the 600,000-square-foot warehouse in Balzac.

A company spokeswoman would not confirm that four additional cases were confirmed.

The Amazon employee showed CBC News copies of the text notifications that the company sent about the COVID-19 cases on April 17, 26, 27 and 28.

The worker says the company has taken some steps to ensure workers are safe, such as temperature checks at arrival and the provision of masks.

Amazon used its internal messaging system to let workers at the facility near Calgary of additional cases of COVID-19 among employees. (Supplied)

Amazon says it is continuing to monitor the situation in its facilities and corporate offices, and says it is taking proactive measures to protect employees and associates who have been in contact with anyone who has been diagnosed or becomes ill.

"We are encouraging those who are unwell to stay home and taking extreme measures to keep people safe in our buildings," company spokesperson Rachael Lighty said in an email.

However, the worker wants more to be done.

"They should shut the facility for a few days and sanitize the whole facility," the worker said.

"And they should not have so many people in at one time. But they are very busy … they keep on hiring people on a temporary basis."

With files from Colleen Underwood

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