Joliet Amazon fulfillment center worker tests positive for COVID-19

A worker at an Amazon fulfillment center in Joliet has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the company confirmed.

The individual, who was last on site at the center March 18, received medical care and is in quarantine.

“We are supporting the individual who is recovering,” Amazon spokesman Timothy Carter said in an email. “We are following guidelines from local officials and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site.”

Carter said other employees at the site were made aware of the confirmed case and anyone who was in close contact with the worker was asked to stay home for 14 days in self-quarantine, and that any Amazon workers who test positive for COVID-19 or who have to self-quarantine will receive up to two weeks of pay.

Carter said Amazon was taking several other measures at its distribution centers and has been consulting health officials and medical experts on how to handle building closures for deep cleaning. Amazon has not shut down its Joliet site.

Carter said in the email that Amazon has increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning its sites, implemented social distancing, asked employees to defer nonessential travel, is using video for the majority of job interviews, and required employees to stay home and seek medical attention if they feel ill.

To implement social distancing, Carter said Amazon has spread out chairs in breakrooms, staggered shifts and decreased the size of its training sessions.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.