Amazon.com, which has powered ahead by delivering packages and food to consumers during a health crisis that kept Americans mainly indoors, announced that more than 19,000 of its U.S. frontline workers contracted COVID-19 this year.
The disclosure provided a rare look at how the COVID-19 has impacted workers at a major U.S. employer.
The 19,000 infected works out to about 1.4 percent of Amazon's frontline workforce, which includes employees at Whole Foods, which it bought in 2017.
The numbers were revealed as Amazon repeatedly comes under fire from staff, elected officials and unions, which claim the company put employees' health at risk by keeping warehouses open during the pandemic.
The figure includes seasonal staff and those who may have been infected outside work.
Amazon is calling on other business to report figures as well, saying in a blogpost that company data on infection rates could help states make decisions on when to reopen public spaces and could also help employers decide if and when to bring people back to work.
The online retail giant says it will expand virus testing to 50,000 employees per day by November.
Increased testing coincides with the kick-off of the busiest time of the year. It will try to jumpstart the holiday shopping season with Prime Day - a day filled with promises of deep discounts. The annual event was pushed back on the calendar this year from July to mid-October due to the pandemic.
Amazon has seen its sales soar through the roof during the health crisis. Net sales during the March to June period hit nearly $90 billion and analysts predict it took in another $92 billion in sales in the just ended quarter.