With a tsunami of orders pouring in as Americans avoid crowded retail spaces, Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) redoubled its efforts to keep its warehouses away from the COVID-19 coronavirus, this time by experimenting with disinfectant mist. Lively facilities manage an increase of about 50 times in grocery orders and higher purchase numbers in other categories thanks to quarantines, social distancing and basic items sold in brick and mortar supermarkets mortar according to The New York Times, making more stringent measures a necessity.
Despite efforts to prevent dangerous respiratory viral infection, about 13 Amazon warehouses already had cases of coronavirus two weeks ago, according to Reuters. Although the online retail titan is reluctant to share data on new infections, the Time reports that a minimum of 50 warehouses may have COVID-19 cases among their workforce. This follows an upsurge of 100,000 hires to meet skyrocketing orders.
Although the company has deployed masks and temperature controls at its sites, disinfectant mist is a possible next step in the fight against infection. Hospitals and airports are already using similar methods to kill infectious microorganisms on a large scale. Amazon hasn’t disclosed the specific disinfectant it uses, but fogs like Calla 1452 are capable of killing tough viruses like HIV and SARS and have already been used by airlines to fight the new coronavirus.
Amazon is using disinfectant mist on a trial basis at a Staten Island warehouse, designated JFK8. It is the same warehouse where quarantined employee Chris Smalls organized a strike for allegedly inadequate protective measures, after which he was dismissed. About 4,000 people work in the establishment. Amazon did not specify the duration of the test.