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Amazon rolling out masks, temperature scanners for workers

Amazon rolling out masks, temperature scanners for workers
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Amazon is planning to provide masks and temperature checks for workers at its American and European warehouses early next week, the company announced Thursday, as it faces criticism from some employees over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The online retail giant also confirmed in the same announcement that it has hired 80,000 of the 100,000 workers it promised in response to increased demand.

Amazon will also use machine-learning software to monitor building cameras and determine whether employees are staying at safe distances while working.

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"Nothing is more important to us than making sure that we protect the health of our teams, and we’ve been working around the clock since the early days of the outbreak to make changes to our processes and procure the necessary supplies for this," Dave Clark, senior vice president of worldwide operations at Amazon, said in a statement.

The roll out of more protective gear and coronavirus scanning comes as employees have increasingly spoken out about unsafe working conditions.

Workers at a Staten Island warehouse walked out on Monday after a worker was diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease resulting from the novel coronavirus.

Dozens of workers walked out of the overnight shift at a Chicago delivery station that same night calling for their building to be shut down and cleaned after another diagnosis.

At least 19 Amazon workers at warehouses in the U.S. have tested positive, according to reports, but those locations remain open.