LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- E-commerce giant Amazon now plans to reopen a Shepherdsville, Ky. warehouse where three employees contracted COVID-19 on April 1, employees were told Thursday.
In a recorded phone message, Amazon told employees that Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear "requested" that the company delay reopening the warehouse known as SDF-9 until that date.
The company was more explicit about Beshear's involvement in a statement to WDRB, saying, "At the order of the governor the site is closed until April 1. We will continue to work closely with (the) health department and the governor to reopen the site."
Beshear's spokesman Sebastian Kitchen said the governor "took this necessary step to protect workers and stop the spread after multiple workers tested positive at this warehouse."
While a text message said SDF-9 would restart on April 1, the recorded voice message said employees would be notified later of the confirmed return date.
"We appreciate your patience with this dynamic situation," the speaker said in the phone message.
He added that SDF-9 employees will continue to be paid for their missed shifts, per company policy.
After confirming on Monday that three employees tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Amazon first planned to reopen the warehouse on Wednesday after a 48-hour break. The company backed off that plan, which some workers criticized for not protecting their safety.
Jennifer Bohannon, who works at SDF-9, told WDRB on Monday that she was “appalled and disappointed” at the original plan to reopen the warehouse after only two days.
“The concern is, how many are walking around (the building) now, asymptomatic?” she said, referring to employees who may be spreading the virus without knowing it.