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Amazon workers track coronavirus cases themselves

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Amazon workers track coronavirus cases themselves

Usually Jana Jumpp works nights loading trucks at an Amazon facility the size of 28 soccer fields in Jeffersonville, Ind. Now, he spends it in his room, tapping on his slow computer.

Emails and Facebook messages from Amazon workers in warehouses across the country fell.

2 cases at DEW8

Additional covid19 cases in DML2

2 more confirmed cases @ Ric2. The total now is 11, which we have told.

He collected 52 new messages between Sunday and Wednesday afternoon this week. Jumpp said that the number could rise by 15 in one night.

A shopper at the Whole Foods Market in Washington, D.C., checks a packet of tomatoes.

(Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press)

Jumpp has a partner at Amazon’s Whole Foods, Katie Doan, who has been collecting cases since April 2. The two women never spoke, but they described almost the same work as breaking through bursts of private messages, searching Facebook groups, Reddit, Twitter and news outlets for infection reports, and carefully updating Google documents with numbers.

Jumpp and Doan, who until this week worked in a shop in Tustin, a city in Orange County, said they did this because their coworkers did not feel safe; they cannot measure the risk of reporting to work in their warehouse or store because Amazon will not tell them how many people are believed to be infected there.

On Wednesday, 343 Whole Foods workers tested positive, according to crowdsourced data in publicly available Google documents. Of these, 44 cases are in 24 store locations in California. At least four Whole Foods employees have died, including a manager at a store in Pasadena.

Across the country, Jumpp has documented 1,079 cases of coronavirus among warehouse workers on Wednesday, and confirmed nine deaths.

Aggregate numbers almost certainly reduce the spread of the virus between Whole Foods employees and Amazon warehouses.

But Amazon has challenged the idea that it must provide more complete data. An Amazon spokeswoman said the company did not track information at the site level but did not release aggregate figures because they might contain outdated information – cases that were resolved weeks or months ago – and thus not informative to workers.

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Total number of infections in the warehouse “Not very useful, “Said Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of global operations, at CBS “60 minutes” the interview aired in early May.

David Eisenman, director of the Center for Public Health and Disasters at UCLA’s Public Health Field School, disagrees. He said that the type of data, collected properly, was very important to reduce employee infections in the future and understand which types of workplaces and jobs were at high risk of contracting COVID-19.

“Saying aggregate data is as useless as pulling wool into your eyes. “Of course this is useful, we use it to open up the country again,” Eisenman said.

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By law, Amazon has the right to stop the transparency created by Jfeed and Doan is trying to create it. Even though it is a food business It is recommended to report confirmed coronavirus cases to the Los Angeles County Public Health Department, they were not required to do so.

It is not mandatory for companies to disclose infections to workers unless they are identified as close contacts and subject to quarantine, said District A’s Disease Control Bureau.

In a statement, Amazon spokeswoman Lisa Levandowski detailed steps taken by the company to protect workers, such as applying social distance, increasing disinfectant spraying, checking temperature and distributing personal protective equipment.

“Our main concern is ensuring the health and safety of our employees, and we expect to invest around $ 4 billion from April to June in COVID-related initiatives to get products to customers and keep employees safe,” Levandowski said. “This includes spending more than $ 800 million in the first half of this year on COVID-19 security measures.”

After someone at the Amazon or Whole Foods facility tests positive for COVID-19, their coworkers usually receive an alert in the form of text or automated voice messages. “We continue to follow the CDC guidelines and will notify anyone who may have close contacts. We have taken steps to keep you safe, “a typical notification sounds.

Jumpp, who manages the Amazon case list with the help of several other employees, includes cases in his calculations only when he can confirm them with documentation: screenshots of internal company texts or downloaded voice messages.

Unlike the Jumpp calculation, the Whole Foods list also includes references to cases posted on Reddit and Twitter. The above disclaimer says that cases sourced from social media that are flagged are not “100% verified.”

Complicating these efforts is the patching of the notification system. Workers sometimes receive notifications only after long delays. Sometimes they never come.

At a Whole Foods store in Laguna Niguel in Orange County, where at least four workers were tested positive, notifications were randomly issued. One employee said he received an automated voice message about the first confirmed case but not the next text warning. He asked not to be named because he was afraid of the professional impact.

Kai Lattomus, an employee in the same store, has received all four notifications. But when he mentioned it to coworkers, he said, “more than half the people you will ask don’t know, and you just told them.”

April 2 Times confirms that a third worker was tested positive at the Amazon fulfillment center in Riverside County, but the employee did not receive company notice until five days later. Employees file a complaint with state and district regulators stating that the delay puts thousands of workers at the facility at risk.

Amazon Warehouse and Whole Foods employees say that when the number of cases in a facility or store increases, the company usually becomes less open.

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On May 8, an employee at CVG2, a warehouse in Hebron, Ky., Received a notification “confirmed additional cases” at the facility and forwarded it to Jumpp. Although the previous message has determined the number of additional cases, this one does not.

Jumpp updated the count, changing the count for CVG2 from four to five.

But three days later, a worker at CVG2 contacted Jumpp to say his calculations for the facility were inactive.

In an internal memo on May 11, General Manager Paul Swaim said the facility actually had 12 confirmed COVID-19 cases. He said he had received feedback from employees that the company’s text notification system was often broken or sometimes not at all.

“I realize that this confusion might lead to a feeling that we are lacking transparency in the total number of cases on the site,” he wrote, according to screenshots of a memo reviewed by The Times. “I am pleased to provide this information to you at any time – please ask.”

Failures in communication cannot always be attributed to technology.

At Whole Foods on Fairfax Avenue and 3rd Street in Los Angeles, two employees – who requested anonymity – suspected that something had happened on the morning of April 2. A supervisor who accidentally told a buyer on Amazon that if workers stand within six feet of someone else, it could happen. reasons for termination of employment. Other educated night employees were told not to enter because deep cleaning was scheduled. When the first employee asked the supervisor if someone had tested positive, he was told to stop spreading rumors.

The two employees woke up the next morning to an automated mailbox notifying them of the first confirmed case of coronavirus in their store.

When asked how in the morning the store manager found out about the confirmed case and why the worker was told otherwise, Whole Foods spokeswoman Rachel Malish said in an email that the company could not “go into full details because it respected our privacy.” Team Member. “

Fairfax and 3rd Street stores have since had three additional workers tested positive for the virus.

Levandowski, an Amazon spokesman, said the company checked the video footage of employees who tested positive and contacted workers known to be within six feet of an infected individual for more than 15 minutes. A Whole Foods spokesman said reviewing the video footage was not the only way the company identified workers who might have close contact with diagnosed individuals, but did not determine the company’s other methods.

But many employees say that’s not enough. They feel they are making decisions in the dark because their supervisors refuse to disclose information that can help, such as which departments tested positively working where and in which stores they spend time.

“Many of the workers we talked about felt that they didn’t provide enough information and that caused a lot of stress and anxiety. And it’s also a safety hazard, because they don’t know the level of vigilance that must be had and what precautions to take, “said Tim Shadix, legal director of the Warehouse Workers Resource Center workforce advocacy group.

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Levandowski said the company refused to provide additional information, such as work stations or individual departments, for privacy reasons. He said the company had not yet heard of problems with workers who received text notifications about new cases.

“The Whole Foods market provides important services in our community and like all businesses operating in this climate, we continue to balance that responsibility with our responsibilities as employers,” a Whole Foods spokeswoman said in a statement. “Every diagnosis notification in our store is filled with fast and comprehensive action and communication.”

The question of what the company’s job should be to tell its workers about the coronavirus case is “uncharted waters,” said Laura Stock, executive director of the UC Berkeley Labor Occupational Health Program.

California occupational health and safety laws require employers to keep records of all injuries and illnesses at work. That note, called “Log 300,” should be available to workers on request.

Because coronavirus is a relatively new workplace hazard, the law has not been tested in connection with a pandemic, as far as Stock knows.

But a Executive order signed by Governor Gavin Newsom earlier this month could support the argument that coronavirus is a work-related disease that needs to be recorded in the company’s 300 Logs, Stock said. The order stipulates the assumption in workers’ compensation claims that every important worker who is infected with COVID-19 has a virus at work.

Levandowski said he was not familiar with the rules, and could not comment on whether the company recorded coronavirus cases as part of its logs.

On the warehouse floor, the increasing demand for online orders since the beginning of the pandemic has stressed workers. Delivery of 27,000 pairs of shoes may come to the facility on certain days; rainbow boxes, some labeled with brand names, are stacked lined up on towering orange carts.

More and more people have returned to work since Amazon ended its policies at the beginning of the pandemic, which allowed workers to take unlimited unpaid leave without penalty. Whole Foods employees, worried about security risks, will see the company remove a $ 2 coronavirus-related pay rise at the end of May.

Jumpp has time to track down the case because he hasn’t been coming to work since the end of February; he requested additional unpaid leave in March as soon as the company offered him an option because of the plague. Since he left, one of his colleagues at the facility has died.

He does not plan to return to work at Amazon. “I don’t feel safe,” he said.

Doan continued to work at Whole Foods until Wednesday; He said he was fired after leaving work without leaving during a panic attack. (Whole Foods was unable to comment immediately.) He was pulled aside by his superiors for the team crowd last week. There was another confirmed coronavirus infection in his shop, he said.

That night, he added it to Google documents, and the number of cases increased.

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Thiago Monteiro in 14th and 15th before the arrival of the WTCR in Portugal – Observer

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Thiago Monteiro in 14th and 15th before the arrival of the WTCR in Portugal - Observer

Portuguese driver Thiago Monteiro (Honda) finished 14th and 15th this Sunday in the two World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) races held in Aragon, Spain, which precede the Vila Real race.

The Portuguese rider always rode in the tail, he was hindered by the fact that Honda had more excess weight than his rivals.

“If they told me that I would be in this position, I would not believe it. But the reality is that we have not been able to withstand a number of adversities. From the moment when the pace is much lower than other rivals, we are prepared in advance. It’s heartbreaking,” the Portuguese rider began his explanation after the fourth round of the championship.

The Portuguese rider struggled to find the best balance in his Civic, as did his teammate, Hungarian Attila Tassi.

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“We still had problems, and we could not reach the full potential of the car. It was very difficult, unpleasant and discouraging, especially since we are going to Vila Real and this scenario does not suit me. But we will have to continue to look for our own path and believe that everything will work out, ”Thiago Monteiro concluded.

Belgian Giles Magnus (Audi) and Spaniard Mikel Ascona (Hyundai) won both races on Sunday.

Ascona leads the league with 129 points, while Thiago Monteiro is 16th with 12 points.

The WTCR competition in Portugal will take place next weekend in Vila Real.

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Joao Almeida became the champion of Portugal in cycling

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Joao Almeida became the champion of Portugal in cycling

This Sunday, Portuguese cyclist João Almeida (UAE-Emirates) became the Portuguese champion in cross-country cycling for the first time, winning the elite national championships held in Mogaduro.

In his first online race since Joao Almeida was forced to pull out of the Vuelta Italia after testing positive for the coronavirus, he won his first national title since becoming time trial champion in 2021.

Almeida crossed the finish line in Mogadora, covering the 167.5 km distance in 4:08.42 hours, 52 seconds behind Thiago Antunes (Efapel) second, Fabio Costa (Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor) third, and Rui Oliveira (UAE). – Emirates), fourth.

In the end, João Almeida stated that he was “very pleased” with the victory, admitting that the race “went very well” and thanking his teammates.

Former national champion José Neves (W52-FC Porto) did not finish the race, as did Rafael Reis (Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor) who won the time trial title on Friday.

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Portuguese military admits ‘it will take time’ until territory is taken under control

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Portuguese military admits 'it will take time' until territory is taken under control

The “path” chosen for about a year in the fight against rebel groups in the province of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique is “the right one,” Brigadier General Nuno Lemos Pires said in an interview with Lusa.

“Now, while the situation is not fully under control, we all understand that, as in any other counter-terrorism situation in the world, it will take a lot of time,” added the head of the European military training mission, although he acknowledged that this “ does not mean that sometimes there are no fears and failures.

However, “this is part of what constitutes an action taken against terrorists who operate in a very wide area, who in themselves have the initiative and the ability to hide in a very wide area,” he said.

In fact, he stressed, many of the recent attacks that have taken place in the south of Cabo Delgado in recent weeks are due to the fact that Islamist extremist rebels had to “flight from the north” of the province.

“Because this was a consolidated military operation carried out in close cooperation between the Mozambique Defense and Security Forces (FSS), [e com as forças d]Rwanda and SAMIM (Southern African Development Community Mission (SADC) in Mozambique), who were clearing out the intervention areas that existed in the area, the reaction of many terrorists was to flee the area, go further south, where they were not pursued. , and make new attacks,” he explained.

“In such cases, the initiative almost always belongs to the terrorists. There are few of them, they hide among the population, they move over very large territories, with a lot of dense vegetation, it becomes very difficult to find them, but you can easily move,” he continued.

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On the other hand, the Portuguese general emphasized, “it is now difficult for these groups” “to concentrate power and forces for large-scale operations, as was the case three years ago during the conquests, such as Mocimboa da Praia or Palma.” ,” he said.

“They don’t have that ability. Many of these attacks even demonstrate [estratégias] survival [clássicas das guerrilhas]. They’re looking for food, they’re looking for supplies, they’re searching deep down for a place where they can survive, because the area is already under quite a lot of control. [por parte] Mozambique FSS, Rwandan forces and SAMIM,” he explained.

In this context, Nuno Lemos Pires highlighted the “quick response” of the Mozambican authorities to each of these developments, starting with head of state Filipe Nyusi.

“I think it is exemplary that the moment there is a movement or a series of significant attacks in other areas, we immediately see the President of Mozambique heading north, linking up with his Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces (CEMGFA). , with the Minister of Defense, with the Minister of the Interior, and outline plans on the ground for a quick change of equipment and the ability to respond to such movements,” he said.

During one such trip to northern Mozambique in mid-June, Mozambican Interior Minister Arsenia Massingue said that Mozambican police were informing the “enemy” – the rebel forces in Cabo Delgado – about the positions of the FDS and allied forces on the ground.

However, Lemos Pires downplayed the situation. “We must be aware that there are infiltrations in any political system. It’s happening everywhere. Ignoring this dimension is tantamount to ignoring what is happening everywhere,” he said.

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“I don’t know of a single case of insurgency, counterinsurgency, terrorist or counter-terrorist combat where these leaks didn’t happen frequently. You need to be careful. .

In addition to the vastness of the territory that has been the scene of conflict and the topography favorable to insurgent guerrilla strategies, the porous borders with Tanzania to the north of Cabo Delgado and Malawi to the northwest also pose a danger. challenges the SDF and allied forces of SAMIM and Rwanda.

Lemos Pires also relativized this question. “We are talking about transnational terrorism, and it is good to understand that the situation in the north of Mozambique, in Cabo Delgado, is not limited and is not limited – and has never been limited – exclusively and exclusively to this region. A phenomenon that exists throughout Africa. , namely in Central Africa,” he said.

The UETM commander even took advantage of this circumstance to formulate an “extended response” to “a broad problem, a regional one, and the solution must also be a broad regional one.”

Therefore, “it’s very good what we see here on the ground, in fact, this is the unification of the efforts of regional African forces to try to deal with a problem that really worries everyone,” he concluded.

“What happens in one region can affect another. That is why it is in everyone’s interest that these groups be fought, detained and that the narrative that they are currently spreading can be counteracted – we hope that there are fewer and fewer successes,” the Portuguese general stressed.

NPS // PYAA

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Lusa/The End

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