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Amazon warehouse worker in Michigan tests positive for COVID-19

The employee works at the Brownstown sort center and was last there on March 16.

BROWNSTOWN CHARTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. —

As shelves are stripped of essentials, and people around the country follow orders to stay home, they’re turning to companies like Amazon.

As its employees work around the clock to keep up with demand, Amazon reports some of its workers have tested positive for COVID-19 -- including at least one in Michigan.

But even now with some warehouse workers sick, experts say there’s no need to stop your online ordering.

The employee who tested positive in Michigan works at the Brownstown sort center, on the east side of the state, and was last there on March 16. 

The worker is in quarantine, along with others who were in close contact with them, for 14 days with pay. 

The company is taking extra precautions, like increased cleaning of door handles, stairway handrails, and screens, as well as social distancing measures, like shifting start and break times.

RELATED: Workers in several Amazon warehouses test positive for coronavirus

RELATED: Can coronavirus spread on mail? United States Postal Service issues statement

UPS, FedEx and USPS have also instituted similar cleaning policies. 

Even so, hundreds of workers have signed a petition, demanding Amazon do more to protect them during the outbreak.

So, what does this all mean for you?

According to a new study from the National Institutes of Health, COVID-19 can live on cardboard up to 24 hours.

But that’s in a perfect lab environment -- so, in a real-world situation, other factors could lower survivability.

In fact, according to the World Health Organization, “The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, traveled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.”

Despite the recent cases in Amazon workers, you still can feel confident when you get those deliveries -- but it also doesn’t hurt to wash your hands after opening. 

Here is our full 13 ON YOUR SIDE coronavirus website.

Do you have more questions about COVID-19 in Michigan? Check out the state's website.

STATE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR COVID-19

Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:  

  • Fever  
  • Cough  
  • Shortness of breath  

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:  

  • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.     
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.    
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.    
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.    
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.  

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