Second Amazon employee in Seattle tests positive for the coronavirus

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Nikol Szymul staffs a reception desk at Amazon offices discretely tucked into a building called Fiona in downtown Seattle, Washington on May 11, 2017.

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An Amazon employee has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus at an office in Seattle and is in quarantine, the company confirmed to CNBC. 

Amazon notified employees of the case via email on Friday, a source close to the company told CNBC. It’s not clear which office the employee works out of. Amazon is headquartered in Seattle and has several offices downtown. 

“We’re supporting the affected employee who is in quarantine,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement.

Amazon has notified the employees who may have been in direct contact with the individual, the company said. The risk of transmission for employees who were not in close contact with this individual is assessed to be low, Amazon added. 

The employee has not returned to the office since they were diagnosed with the virus. Amazon employees at the company’s Seattle and Bellevue, Washington offices have been working remotely since March 5. 

It marks the second known case of an Amazon employee contracting the coronavirus. Amazon confirmed March 3 that an employee working out of its Brazil office building in Seattle tested positive for the virus. The company notified employees of the case in a memo, saying, “The employee went home feeling unwell on Tuesday, February 25 and has not entered Amazon offices since that time.” 

On Thursday, Amazon advised global employees who are able to work from home to do so through the end of March. The directive applies to employees at Amazon’s corporate offices. 

Unlike employees at Amazon’s corporate offices, many fulfillment center employees and delivery drivers cannot carry out their job duties while working from home. Last week, Amazon moved to address the unique needs of fulfillment centers and delivery by launching a $25 million relief fund. The “Amazon Relief Fund” will allow these employees to apply for grants that are equal to or up to two weeks of pay if they’re diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. 

The company also said it will provide up to two weeks of pay to all employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine, effective immediately. This is in addition to unlimited unpaid time off for all hourly employees through the month of March, which CNBC previously reported. 

As of Saturday afternoon, there were more than 147,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide and at least 5,539 deaths from the virus. There were at least 2,174 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. and at least 47 deaths. 

— CNBC’s Bertha Coombs contributed to this report

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