Amazon warehouse in Jeffersonville's River Ridge

Amazon's fulfillment warehouse in Jeffersonville, Ind. (WDRB file photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A worker at Amazon's warehouse in Jeffersonville, Indiana, has died after becoming infected with the novel coronavirus, the company confirmed on Thursday.

It marks the first known COVID-19 death among the workforce of the distribution center known as SDF-8, though Amazon has told employees about several confirmed cases involving SDF-8 employees.

The employee last worked on April 1 and his virus case was not confirmed until April 25, the company said. Amazon was alerted to the positive test result on Monday, the company said. 

“Safety is our top priority and we are committed to ensuring a clean and safe workplace," Amazon spokesperson Lisa Levandowski said in a prepared statement.  "We’ve implemented over 150 significant process changes—from enhanced cleaning and social distancing measures to new efforts like disinfectant spraying. We’ve also distributed personal protective gear like masks across our entire operations network. We’ll continue to invest in safety, pay, and benefits for our teams who are playing an invaluable role in getting items to communities around the world.”

SDF-8 handles outbound orders and returns of items such as clothing, jewelry and electronics, according to employees.

Amazon, which has seen a surge in orders in the pandemic, has implemented protocols such as screening employees' temperatures upon entering the warehouse and requiring employees to wear masks. 

The company has raised its pay of at least $15 per hour by $2 during the pandemic and paid all overtime hours at double time instead of time-and-a-half, but the company said those incentives are only guaranteed through May 31.

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.