Amazon eyes building COVID-19 testing lab for employees

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Amazon is looking at ways to do regular COVID-19 testing of its workers, including those who are asymptomatic, CEO Jeff Bezos recently told shareholders.

In an April 16 shareholder letter, Mr. Bezos said Amazon has started the work of building incremental testing capacity. He said research scientists, program managers, procurement specialists and software engineers have moved from their normal jobs to a team dedicated to working on the initiative, and the company has started assembling the equipment it needs to build its first COVID-19 testing lab for workers.

"Regular testing on a global scale, across all industries, would both help keep people safe and help get the economy back up and running," wrote Mr. Bezos. "For this to work, we as a society would need vastly more testing capacity than is currently available. If every person could be tested regularly, it would make a huge difference in how we fight this virus. Those who test positive could be quarantined and cared for, and everyone who tests negative could re-enter the economy with confidence."

Amazon said it hopes to start testing small numbers of its front-line employees soon.


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COVID-19 & healthcare professionals: What the latest CDC data shows 

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