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Staten Island Amazon worker dies of COVID-19

Staten Island Amazon worker dies of COVID-19
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An Amazon worker at a fulfillment facility in the New York City borough of Staten Island has died of COVID-19, a spokeswoman for the company confirmed Tuesday.

The online retail giant is currently in the process of notifying workers at the warehouse and has been in touch with the employee's family.

The worker was last on-site on April 5 and was diagnosed with the disease caused by the coronavirus on April 11.

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"We are deeply saddened by the loss of an associate at our site in Staten Island, NY," Amazon spokeswoman Kristen Kish said in a statement to The Hill. "His family and loved ones are in our thoughts, and we are supporting his fellow colleagues."

The Verge first reported on the death.

This is the third known death of an Amazon worker from COVID-19. A worker at a Hawthorne, Calif., facility died on March 31, and another from a Tracy, Calif., warehouse died April 1.

Workers at the Staten Island facility, known as JFK8, were some of the first to protest Amazon's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Several of the facility's workers walked out in late March after an employee tested positive COVID-19. Chris Smalls was fired after organizing that protest; Amazon maintains he was fired for violating an order to maintain social distance.

According to The Verge, at least 29 workers have fallen ill at the facility.

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Last month, more than 300 hundred Amazon workers called out of work after a string of strikes across the country calling for better workplace measures, such as closing down factories and doing deep cleans after positive cases at facilities.

Amazon has closed only one facility in the US, a returns-processing center in Kentucky, during the pandemic.

Amazon has taken several steps to address concerns raised by workers during the pandemic.

It has pledged to increase cleaning and enforce social distancing measures at warehouses while raising wages for hourly workers by $2 per hour and boosting overtime pay.