In light of COVID-19, Amazon released a statement saying that it will be pushing back delivery dates for any non-essential items. Yes, the two-day Prime deliveries from Amazon we’ve all grown used to is changing. This change in delivery times started on March 17th and is in effect until April 5th. Some items are shown with as little as a five-day delivery window, while others might take up to a month.
This alert came soon after Amazon announced it would be prioritizing the most in-demand essential items in its warehouses, per a recent Vox article.
According to a statement by Amazon, essential items include: household staples, medical supplies and other high demand products “coming into our fulfillment centers so we can more quickly receive, restock, and ship these products to customers.”
Other examples of essential products include baby products, health and household, beauty and personal care, grocery and pet supplies. That means warehouse shelves will have space for the panic-buying of toilet paper, but maybe not for your espresso machine.
Amazon stated the decision was a tough one, but deemed necessary. “We understand this is a change to your business, and we did not take this decision lightly,” the company’s statement said. “We are working around the clock to increase capacity and yesterday announced that we are opening 100,000 new full- and part-time positions in our fulfillment centers across the US.”
With that, Amazon is looking to hire 100,000 new roles and will raise its pay for distribution and warehouse workers by $2 per hour, taking the previous hourly wage from $15 to $17 for the time being (wages vary by state).
One Amazon delivery station temporarily closed in Queens, New York on March 19 as a worker tested positive for COVID-19. Based on an article by NPR, this is the first known incident of a US Amazon warehouse employee testing positive. Other workers have tested positive, but not in the US.
Amazon’s blog says, “health and safety are a top priority with all of our roles and sites. We continue to consult with medical and health experts, and take all recommended precautions in our buildings and stores to keep people healthy. We’ve taken measures to promote social distancing in the workplace and taken on enhanced and frequent cleaning, to name just a few.”
The company said it plans to hire 100,000 additional staffers in the US to meet the high demand during the pandemic.