BREAKING: An Amazon worker in New York has reportedly died of COVID-19

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Amazon has confirmed that a fulfillment center worker in New York died of COVID-19 recently.

The worker at Amazon's Staten Island, New York, facility last worked on site on April 5, and the individual reportedly died recently, the e-commerce giant confirmed to The Verge. Employees at the JFK8 fulfillment center had previously demanded that there be greater safety precautions in place as the virus began to spread across the state and the nation in early March.

Amazon has made changes, but the number of workers diagnosed with the virus continues to climb. According to alerts viewed by The Verge, at least 29 workers have fallen ill. Managers notified several workers at JFK8 of the death on Monday, according to New York's ABC New York 7.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of an associate at our site in Staten Island, NY,” an Amazon spokesperson said. “His family and loved ones are in our thoughts, and we are supporting his fellow colleagues.”

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The employee was not contact traced to any other employees, and officials say they believe each of the cases at the Staten Island fulfillment center are individual cases and are not believed to be related to one another.

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JFK8 was the first of several Amazon facilities to have workers walk out in protest of the company’s handling of COVID-19 in late March, The Verge reported. Following that walkout, Amazon made a series of changes to warehouse processes, including mandating social distancing and screening workers for fevers.

In its quarterly earnings release last week, the company said it planned to spend $4 billion — equivalent to its expected operating profit — on its COVID-19 response.

The battle between the workers on the frontline facing the threat of the virus and executives able to stop running facilities has been ongoing for weeks. On Monday, a prominent engineer and vice president of Amazon's cloud computing arm said that he had quit "in dismay" about the recent firings of workers who had raised questions about workplace safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tim Bray, an engineer who had been a vice president of Amazon Web Services, wrote in a blog post that firing them was “evidence of a vein of toxicity running through the company culture.” He had worked for the company for more than five years.

“I choose neither to serve nor drink that poison,” he wrote.

Amazon declined to comment Monday. The company has reportedly increased its hiring across the country as demand continues to draw the need for more delivery, fulfillment and other types of workers.

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