One of Brampton’s large Amazon warehouses is up and running again after a two-week shutdown over COVID-19 concerns.
The plant on Heritage Dr. had been closed after Peel Public Health determined that cases of the virus at the large fulfillment centre were spreading and could not be controlled.
However, a spokesperson for Amazon said it is back to business but with advanced safety protocols in place. Peel Public Health has confirmed the re-opening.
“Over the past two weeks we’ve worked closely with Peel Public Health to go beyond what’s being asked of most companies in Peel, out of an abundance of caution, to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said Dave Bauer of Amazon. “Peel Public Health has recognized the efforts we’ve taken.”
Under the closure, most of the 5,000 employees at the plant were required to self-isolate for the two-week period. At the time of the shutdown, the health department determined there was a likelihood of high-risk exposure for those who worked at the location as the number of infected people had risen 40 percent to 240 cases over a two-week period.
Bauer acknowledged the shutdown was tough not only on the company, but on the workers as well. He said employees showed their resilience throughout the process and are committed to safety and dedication to customers across the country.
Amazon has an ongoing sick leave payment program for any worker who has had a COVID-related illness.
Meanwhile, Amazon reports that recent testing showed a 1 percent positivity rate, a number below the community transmission rate.
As well, the company says $17 million has been spent on safety enhancements at the Heritage Rd. site and that improved safety practices such as advanced screening protocols and revamping how employees work within proximity to each other are now in place.
A statement by the company says the focus now is to resume operations for customers and to work with elected officials to bring vaccines and vaccination clinics to the warehousing sector as soon as possible.