187 Amazon employees in Minnesota test positive for COVID-19; biggest outbreak in Shakopee | KSTP.com

187 Amazon employees in Minnesota test positive for COVID-19; biggest outbreak in Shakopee

187 Amazon employees in Minnesota test positive for COVID-19; biggest outbreak in Shakopee Photo: Elliott Brown / CC BY-SA 2.0 / MGN.

Kyle Brown
Updated: June 24, 2020 10:36 AM
Created: June 24, 2020 09:48 AM

At least 187 employees at Amazon facilities in Minnesota have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

The biggest outbreak so far has been at the online retailer's fulfillment center in Shakopee, where at least 88 employees have tested positive for the virus so far.

Other outbreaks have been reported at facilities in Eagan (22 cases), Brooklyn Park (14 cases) and Maple Grove (5 cases). Another 58 COVID-19 patients reported working for Amazon but did not specify the facility where they work.

According to MDH, the highest concentration of positive cases at the Shakopee facility occurred from April 24 to May 20 and have been more spread out into June.

The outbreaks in Eagan and Brooklyn Park also follow a clustering trend, MDH said. The Eagan distribution center has only had one confirmed case in June, and the majority of the cases in Brooklyn Park were detected in the first two weeks of May.

MDH said that while these employees work at Amazon distribution centers, it does not necessarily mean they contracted the virus through contact with their coworkers.

Amazon spokeswoman Jen Crowcroft provided a statement regarding coronavirus outbreaks at Minnesota facilities:

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—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. 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 we’ve put into place. 

MDH said Amazon is one of more than 250 workplaces that have reported COVID-19 case clusters and that the company's number of cases is about average as a proportion of its employee population. Amazon says it employs more than 15,000 hourly workers in Minnesota.

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