TRACY, Calif. — Amazon has confirmed that one of its workers at the fulfillment center in Tracy has died from the coronavirus (COVID-19).
This is the first confirmed death at the Tracy facility. A spokesperson for Amazon told ABC10 the last day this person showed up to work was almost a month ago and they said he didn't show any symptoms at the time.
"Just kind of shocking, it really brings it home," said an employee from the Tracy facility who spoke to ABC10 under the condition of anonymity over fear of losing her job.
She's been a packer at the Tracy fulfillment center for over two years.
"My stomach is in knots like all day every day, but you know, you've gotta go to work. I don't want to lose my job. I've been homeless before, and I don't want to be there. I don't want to sleep in my car," she said.
She said learning of one of her unidentified coworkers passing away was enough to call out for the day.
"I didn't feel comfortable in the morning. Hearing that we had that person pass away-- I didn't go to work," she said.
"We are saddened by the loss of an associate at our site in Tracy, California. His family and loved ones are in our thoughts, and we are supporting his fellow colleagues in the days ahead," Lisa Levandowski, a spokesperson for Amazon said.
They added that as a company, they've made more than 150 process updates to keep workers safe.
On top of social distancing and providing masks and gloves, they're also doing daily temperature checks, cleaning common touch points more often and staggering start and break times.
"Them doing our temperature, it makes feel better. I know everyday that I don't have the fever, I'm good," the worker said. "For me, honestly, I don't feel like these people contracted it at our business."
The Tracy fulfillment center employee said her biggest concern is bringing the virus back home to her family.
"I have kids. I have a mother up there in age, family members. You just get scared that you're going to bring something back to them. Even if I don't get sick, what if I'm a carrier and I bring it back to them," she said.
According to the workers we spoke with, the company has told them that if any employee feels nervous or uncomfortable about going into work during this time, Amazon is allowing anyone to take unpaid time off with no penalties.
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