Amazon says nearly 20,000 of its U.S. workers have COVID-19

Amazon revealed Thursday that almost 20,000 of its workers in the U.S. have tested positive or are presumed to have the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

"We hope other large companies will also release their detailed learnings and case rates because doing so will help all of us," Amazon says in a blog post published Thursday. "This is not an arena where companies should compete — this is an arena where companies should help one another."

Read the Amazon blog post here.

In revealing coronavirus infection data for the first time, Amazon claims an infection rate below that U.S. population average.

Today's disclosure follows months of pressure labor advocates who called for Jeff Bezos and company to be transparent about COVID-19 numbers, reports AP:

The Seattle-based company said that it examined data from March 1 to Sept. 19 on 1.37 million workers at Amazon and Whole Foods Market across the U.S.

It said it compared the COVID-19 case rates to the general population, as reported by Johns Hopkins University for the same period. Based on that analysis, if the rate among Amazon and Whole Foods employees were the same as that for the general population, it estimated it would have seen 33,952 cases among its workforce. That is 42% higher that Amazon's actual rate.

The company also said it is conducting thousands of tests a day, which will grow to 50,000 tests a day across 650 sites by November.

Read more at AP.