Coronavirus sickens dozens of employees at Arizona UPS distribution center: report

Arizona News

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Some three dozen people working at a UPS distribution center in Arizona have reportedly been sickened with the novel coronavirus, according to a local report.

At least 36 people — including three who are allegedly in intensive care — have developed a COVID-19 infection after likely being exposed to the novel virus at the Tucson facility, local news station KOLD News 13 reported, citing a statement from a local labor union that represents workers at the distribution center.

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Teamsters Local Union No. 104 also said the facility has brought in people from other states — namely New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah — to help “compensate for disruptions related to the outbreak,” possibly putting workers more at risk, the news station reported, citing the statement.

“These are just the ones we know of,” Karla Schumann, the principal officer and secretary-treasurer for the union, told KOLD News 13 of the alleged cases. “We try to keep each other up to speed as to what we know when it relates to positives.”

She claimed some 700 workers could be at risk of contracting the illness.

In a statement, a UPS spokesperson said the company’s “highest priority remains the health and safety of our employees, customers, and suppliers.”

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“UPS is proud of our employees who are safely serving our customers and communities, delivering life-saving goods and basic necessities each day. Since the pandemic began, people have counted on UPS more than ever before, and our employees have responded with passion and dedication,” the statement reads, according to KOLD News 13. “To help meet the increased demand for residential deliveries during this time, UPS is hiring some additional employees in Tucson for all shifts and across all job types. Our highest priority remains the health and safety of our employees, customers, and suppliers.”

Similar instances have been reported at other distribution facilities around the country. For instance, at least 50 Amazon warehouses were impacted by the novel coronavirus in March, according to a report from the time. 

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