Bobbi Johnson, a worker at an Amazon warehouse south of Detroit, first saw the rumors on Facebook over the weekend. Kelly McIntosh-Butler, another worker at the facility, heard about them on Monday from her daughter, who works at another Amazon warehouse nearby. But it wasn’t until Tuesday, when Johnson and others confronted someone from human resources in the break room, that they received confirmation that someone at the facility had tested positive for COVID-19.
Six workers at the sortation center DTW5 say they only learned of the case from coworkers or after McIntosh-Butler, frustrated with the lack of transparency, tipped off Local Four News, which received confirmation from Amazon Tuesday. In the information vacuum, they are left wondering whether they’ve been exposed and whether it’s safe to continue working. Last week, Johnson’s son, who has asthma, began having trouble breathing. This week, her daughter developed a dry cough. She hasn’t been able to get either tested, and she worries she was an unknowing vector for COVID-19. She decided to stay home, without pay, to care for her children and avoid potentially spreading the virus.
“They should have closed that building down and sanitized that whole building before they let us come in,” Johnson tells The Verge.