Tags: Coronavirus | amazon | statedepartment | coronavirus | covid19

Amazon, State Dept. HQ Report First COVID-19 Deaths

employees gather amazon shopping order.
An Amazon distrubution center (Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 14 April 2020 06:22 PM

Amazon.com and the U.S. State Department's Washington headquarters both have reported their first coronavirus-related deaths.

Gerard Tuzara, who was an operations manager for Amazon's Hawthorne, California warehouse, died on March 31, The Hill reported.

"We are saddened by the passing of a member of our management team in Hawthorne, California," Amazon spokesperson Kristen Kish said. "His family and loved ones are in our thoughts, and we are supporting his fellow colleagues."

It was unclear where Tuzara contracted the virus. Amazon said he was last on the job site March 6 and showed no symptoms.

The company has come under fire by some of its employees for working conditions at a time when consumers have turned to online purchases to avoid going into stores to avoid exposure to coronavirus.

After walkouts at some facilities, Amazon has pledged to increase cleaning of facilities and to increase social distancing.

The U.S. State Department fatality among the staff at its headquarters in Washington brought the total death toll in its global workforce due to the outbreak to five.

"The individual passed over the weekend," William Walters, deputy chief medical officer for operations in the Bureau of Medical Services told reporters in a teleconference. "He was hospitalized for some time fighting the coronavirus and ultimately did succumb."

Walters said that the deceased individual, a civil servant, had been out of the office for more than two weeks. He did not provide further details, including in what role the individual served at the State Department, citing privacy issues.

Among the other four fatalities in the State Department's global workforce, three others were locally employed staff in foreign missions while a fourth person, a contractor working in New York, died of the illness last week.

The Department is currently tracking a total of 297 cases overseas, including 182 active and 115 recovered, while domestically another 71 cases were also being monitored, Walters said. Four of those had also recovered, he added.

More than 1.92 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 120,670 have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

In the United States, which has recorded more fatalities from the illness than any other country, the death toll on Tuesday topped 25,000, doubling in one week, according to a Reuters tally.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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Amazon.com and the U.S. State Department's Washington headquarters both have reported their first coronavirus-related deaths. It was unclear where the Amazon employee contracted the virus...
amazon, statedepartment, coronavirus, covid19
Tuesday, 14 April 2020 06:22 PM
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