Amazon's COVID-19 blog: daily updates on how we're responding to the crisis
Donations,Working at Amazon,Leadership,Company news,Operations,Job creation and investment,Community,Seattle ,Puget Sound region,COVID-19Day One StaffMay 02, 06:00 AMMay 02, 05:53 PM
1. What we are doing for employees
- Our top concern is ensuring the health and safety of our employees, and we expect to invest approximately $4 billion from April to June on COVID-related initiatives getting products to customers and keeping employees safe. This includes spending more than $800 million in the first half of the year on COVID-19 safety measures.
- We've made over 150 process updates—from enhanced cleaning and social distancing measures to new efforts like disinfectant spraying.
- We've distributed personal protective gear, such as masks for our employees, and implemented disinfectant spraying and temperature checks across our operations worldwide.
- Someone diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive up to two weeks of paid time off—this is in addition to their other paid and unpaid time off options.
- We're working on building scalable testing for coronavirus.
- Amazon employees receive comprehensive health benefits starting on day one of employment.
- We increased pay for hourly employees by $2 per hour in the U.S., C$2 per hour in Canada, and €2 per hour in many EU countries.
- We doubled the regular hourly base pay for every overtime hour worked and are offering extra time off with full pay for those diagnosed with COVID-19.
- We established a $25 million relief fund for partners (e.g. delivery drivers) and seasonal associates facing financial hardship or quarantine.
2. What we are doing for customers
- We're providing free masks to all Whole Foods Market customers nationwide.
- We are increasing capacity for grocery delivery from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market as quickly as possible.
- We enhanced cleaning at all Whole Foods Market stores and now open one hour early for customers who are 60+ years old in the U.S. (70+ years old in the UK).
- We're reserving the first hour of grocery pickup at Whole Foods Market stores nationwide for customers 60 years and older, those with disabilities, and those whom the CDC defines as high risk.
- Customers ordering delivery from Prime Now, Amazon Fresh, and Whole Foods Market can select "unattended delivery" during checkout.
- We're focusing on high-priority items to ensure the fastest delivery of household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers.
- We're vigorously combating price gouging to help protect customers, help ensure fair pricing, and combat those seeking to profit off the COVID-19 crisis.
- Our Amazon and Alexa devices help keep customers stay connected and informed.
3. What we are doing for communities around the globe
- We launched the $20 million AWS Diagnostic Initiative to accelerate COVID-19 research.
- In Europe, we committed €21 million (almost $23 million USD) to support those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Amazon CEO and Founder Jeff Bezos donated $100 million to Feeding America.
- We've hired 175,000 additional full- and part-time employees.
- We’re working with foodbanks in 25 cities across the country to deliver 6 million meals to underserved and vulnerable populations.
- We’re donating $5 million in Amazon devices globally to those in need.
- We're donating 8,200 laptops to Seattle Public Schools students who do not have access to a device at home.
- Through our Amazon Future Engineer program, we're donating 4,000 laptops to high school students across the U.S. and making new online computer science resources, including exam prep, free.
Continue checking here for updates about how we're supporting our employees, helping customers, aiding community relief, and furthering research during the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 2Meet an employee responsible for training others in an Amazon fulfillment center
With 175,000 new people hired at Amazon since the start of the pandemic, Jerome Lewis is finding even deeper meaning in his work. "Teaching new hires is always rewarding, no matter the circumstance. However, it's incomparable to now," said Lewis, a learning manager at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Tracy, California. "A lot of the current new hires had jobs and careers two months ago and now have to make ends meet. My job is to ensure that they can be successful here. I take pride in that." Read more.
Watch 5-year old Jameson deliver smiles in his very own Prime truck
"Alexa, play Some Good News"Need some positive energy? You can now watch new episodes of Some Good News with John Krasinski, a video series focused on positive stories from around the world, directly from your Echo device. Just say, "Alexa, play Some Good News." Read more about how Alexa and Amazon Devices can keep you informed and entertained.
Amazon Web Services supports COVID‑19 data resource to accelerate researchAWS has teamed up with C3.ai, a leading artificial intelligence software provider, to accelerate research efforts to fight the spread of COVID‑19. C3.ai has built a data lake, which compiles datasets about the disease from multiple sources, so researchers don’t have to spend time wrangling data and can focus on generating insights. AWS provided cloud infrastructure to support. Learn more here.
May 1Amazon donates CAD$3 million to relief organizations in CanadaWe are donating CAD$3 million ($2.1 million USD) to organizations supporting those most affected by the COVID-19 crisis in Canada. This includes CAD$1.5 million for the Canadian Red Cross, United Way Centraide Canada, and Food Banks Canada to support their critical pandemic relief efforts. We’re also creating a CAD$1.5 million fund to help local organizations in the communities where our employees live and work. These funds will help support food banks and procure protective equipment for local hospitals, among other efforts. Read more.
Letters from our frontline employees in IndiaWhen our customers write to us, we listen. Customers have been sending letters of thanks to our people who work across the Amazon fulfillment network in India. In turn, our employees responded by expressing their heart-felt thoughts. “Dear Customer, I request you from the bottom of my heart not to leave your homes, but to stay safe during this lockdown period. It is really a dangerous situation out there these days. We are continuously trying to fight back the coronavirus and we need your help to win this fight.” See dozens of letters here.
Amazon Brazil donates to organizations fighting COVID‑19We have donated R$5 million ($1 million USD) to two Brazilian nonprofits supporting communities during the pandemic: Comunitas and the Alice Figueira Foundation. The organizations will use the funds to purchase personal protective equipment like masks, medical equipment like ventilators, and food.
Amazon Web Services powers robotic startup’s effort to keep essential businesses cleanBrain Corp, a robotics startup, has deployed autonomous floor scrubbers across retail businesses, airports, hospitals, and other spaces requiring frequent cleanings. The fleet of robots perform more than 8,000 hours of cleaning each day. Brain Corp recently announced it is donating $1.6 million worth of autonomous floor-cleaning robots and services, powered in part by AWS, so essential businesses can use a cleaning robot free of charge during the crisis.
April 30Updated work-from-home guidanceWe continue to prioritize the health of our employees and follow local government guidance. Amazon employees who work in a role that can be done effectively from home are welcome to do so until at least October 2. We are working hard and investing significant funds to keep those who choose to come to the office safe through physical distancing, deep cleaning, temperature checks, and the availability of face coverings and hand sanitizer.
Making masks available to Whole Foods Market customers nationwideTo help protect the safety and health of Whole Foods Market Team Members and communities, we will be requesting customers wear masks in Whole Foods Market stores. Within the next week, we will be offering free, disposable masks to all Whole Foods Market customers nationwide when they arrive at the store to shop. If customers don't already have their own face covering, they will be able to pick up a mask at the entrance of the Whole Foods Market store. Details here.
Providing for customers and protecting employeesIn the second quarter of 2020, Amazon expects to invest approximately $4 billion on COVID-related expenses to get products to customers and keeping employees safe. This includes investments in personal protective equipment, enhanced cleaning of our facilities, less efficient process paths that better allow for effective social distancing, higher wages for hourly teams, and developing our own COVID-19 testing capabilities. In March and April, we announced hiring plans, and have since hired 175,000 people in our fulfillment and delivery network in response to increased customer demand and to assist existing employees. Read more about our work to keep employees safe.
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Being able to support the communities where we live and work adds meaning and purpose to our jobs, according to Kevin Murray a site manager at an AMZL Delivery Station in the Bay Area. Recently, his team in San Francisco took time to assemble and deliver 200 care packages to emergency service workers and first responders. "Doing our jobs well isn't just about data and bottom lines," Murray said, "Ultimately, it's about people and where we choose to spend our time and energy."
Whole Foods Market expands reserved grocery pickup to at-risk shoppers nationwideTo support the most vulnerable communities during this pandemic, we are reserving the first hour of grocery pickup at Whole Foods Market stores nationwide for customers 60 years and older, those with disabilities, and those whom the CDC defines as high risk. Read details here and learn about other ways we are helping grocery customers.
Amazon expands online use of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefitsArizona, California, and Kentucky become the latest states to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture pilot enabling Amazon customers to use SNAP benefits to purchase groceries online. The pilot is already live in Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, and Washington. We are committed to making food accessible through online shopping and we look forward to adding more states soon. Read about the program.
How Amazon’s logistics network is helping the UK Government during the pandemicAmazon is collaborating with the UK Government to deliver COVID‑19 test kits to the homes of essential workers. We are waiving fees and providing this service free of charge. “We believe our role serving customers and the community during this time is a critical one, and we are committed to working closely with the Government to identify ways in which we can support efforts to respond to the crisis,” said Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager at Amazon. Learn more and watch a video here.
April 29Amazon supports a nonprofit's initiative to fund artisans making masks for frontline workers
As part of a new initiative called "give a mask, employ an artisan," the nonprofit Nest will buy masks from its small business partners and donate them to healthcare professionals and others doing critical work. Amazon's support through this program will help artisans experiencing economic distress amid the pandemic and ensure frontline workers have access to protective equipment.
Amazon Web Services powers a free database for COVID‑19 research and vaccine development Cerner, a global healthcare technology company, has compiled de-identified patient data to help COVID‑19 researchers and has leveraged AWS to secure and store the critical information. The data will support research, vaccine development, and new treatment options—and it’s available for free, creating an opportunity for organizations to share information and accelerate our understanding of the disease. Get more details.
April 28Amazon to invest more than $800 million on COVID-19 safety measuresThrough the measures we worked rapidly to implement, we expect to spend more than $800 million in the first half of the year on COVID‑19 safety measures. This includes purchasing items like masks, hand sanitizer, thermal cameras, thermometers, sanitizing wipes, gloves, and additional handwashing stations, as well as using disinfectant spraying in buildings, procuring COVID‑19 testing supplies, and hiring more janitorial staff. Some specific numbers include:
- Deploying 100 million+ masks
- Adding 2,298 handwashing stations
- Adding 5,765+ janitorial staffers to our typical teams
- Deploying an additional 34 million gloves
- Adding 48 million ounces of hand sanitizer
- Adding 93 million sanitizing spray bottles and wipes
- Deploying more than 31,000 thermometers and 1,115+ thermal cameras
We’re also spending over $85 million redeploying team members from their typical roles to perform safety related tasks and audits at sites around the world. This includes team members who are “social distancing ambassadors” helping with temperature checks. Read more about how we’re taking care of employees.
Meet an employee at the forefront of health and safety in an Amazon fulfillment center
As a child, Heather Mayberry was wowed by paramedics and the work they do to help people in their most difficult moments. It's what inspired her to ultimately chose a career focused on keeping people safe and healthy. Today, as an Amazon workplace health and safety manager in Phoenix (PHX6), she’s a part of the team that’s implemented 150 process improvements since the start of the pandemic. "My focus is doing everything I can to protect those who work at Amazon, so we can all go home safely to our families each day," she said. Read more.
Amazon donates $3.9 million to expand computer science education in VirginiaThe Amazon Future Engineer donation includes virtual resources, training for over 12,000 teachers and curriculum to students whose schools closed due to COVID‑19. Amazon Future Engineer is a comprehensive childhood-to-career program aimed at increasing access to computer science education for children and young adults from underserved and underrepresented communities. More than 700 Virginia schools that may otherwise lack access, training, or funding, will benefit from the donation. Learn more.
A message for World Day for Safety and Health at Work from Heather MacDougall, Amazon vice president of workplace health and safetyThroughout the COVID‑19 pandemic, our first question every day has been, "What else can we do to protect employees, while keeping our operations running smoothly for communities of customers and people in need?" Over 60 days, we’ve made more than 150 major process changes and invested deeply to help ensure our teams are safe and remain healthy at work. Read her full post on LinkedIn.
Amazon Web Services delivers remote learning for more than one million students in IsraelWorking with AWS, the Israel Ministry of Education collaborated with education technology companies to provide learning services in Hebrew and Arabic for 1.8 million students. Find details here.
New features through Alexa and Amazon devicesWe’ve added more experiences to make it easy to stay informed and entertained amid COVID‑19.
- Ask Alexa to open the Mayo Clinic Answers on COVID‑19 skill for guidance on symptoms, prevention, coping, treatment, and more.
- New and existing Fire TV and Fire tablet owners in the U.S. will receive a complimentary one-year subscription to the Food Network Kitchen app. A special “We Cook Together Weekend” on Food Network Kitchen this weekend (May 2,3) will let you cook along with your favorite chefs from home.
April 27Amazon Air made its first-ever stop in Shanghai to bring personal protective equipment to U.S.The aircraft picked up and transported personal protective equipment back to the U.S. last week for health care organizations and others in need. Watch now.Amazon Air's first-ever stop in Shanghai
Surprise gifts for a special class of 2020 from Amazon
Prime Video presents the SXSW 2020 Film Festival CollectionFollowing the cancellation of the SXSW Conference and Festivals due to COVID‑19, Amazon Prime Video and SXSW joined forces to launch a 10-day online film festival that starts today (April 27) and runs through May 6 on Prime Video. A collection of documentary and narrative features, short films, and episodic titles from the 2020 SXSW Film Festival lineup will be available to stream here with or without an Amazon Prime membership. All that is needed is a free Amazon account. Find the full lineup here.
April 26Discover how customers are using Alexa during the COVID‑19 pandemicBrighten someone’s day by sending your Alexa contacts a hug. To learn more, just ask, “Alexa, how do I send a hug?" From Drop-In calls to dance tutorials, and setting up a traffic light, see some of the ways customers are using Alexa in their homes.
April 25Whole Foods Market adds a grocery pickup option for customers age 60 and olderTo support one of the most vulnerable communities during this pandemic, Whole Foods Market is reserving the first hour of grocery pickup for shoppers 60 years and older at stores in Indianapolis, Las Vegas, and Richmond, and we’ll expand to all Whole Foods Market pickup locations nationwide in the coming weeks. Read more about these updates and other ways we are helping grocery customers.
Amazon Web Services helps speed up the review of medical imagesWith support from AWS, Feedback Medical is scaling its software platform for reviewing radiology images to address increased demand during the COVID‑19 pandemic. Feedback Medical, a Cambridge-based company focused on medical imaging technology, is supplying its platform to all National Health Service providers in the UK at no cost. Read more about how AWS customers and partners are seeking solutions during the crisis.
April 24Amazon transportation teams deliver personal protective equipment to hospitals and clinicsAmazon continues to support local communities during the COVID-19 crisis. This week, Amazon delivered personal protective equipment and supplies in support of Get Us PPE in Chicago. We are using our Amazon trailers to pick up supplies at Boston Scientific, transport them to delivery stations, and coordinate final deliveries to hospitals and clinics.
Extending the hourly pay increase through mid-MayWe’ve extended the increased pay ($2 per hour in the U.S., C$2 per hour in Canada, and €2 per hour in many EU countries) for hourly employees through May 16. We are also extending double overtime pay in the U.S. and Canada. These extensions increase our total investment in pay during COVID-19 to nearly $700 million for our hourly employees and partners. In addition, we are providing flexibility with leave of absence options, including expanding the policy to cover COVID-19 circumstances, such as high-risk individuals or school closures.
A show of support with rainbows on Amazon buildings
Giant #rainbowsofhope are lighting up Amazon buildings across the country - check out our fulfilment centre in Doncaster last night. Thank you to all of our nation’s key workers. Find out more about what we’re doing to keep our employees safe here:https://t.co/7TswRKp2ae pic.twitter.com/xhCNakevME— AmazonNewsUK (@AmazonNewsUK) April 24, 2020
Discover why rainbows are showing up on windows, buildings, and sidewalks around the world in this story.
Meet some of the Amazon employees who are supporting customers around the world
Bri Tye was looking for a temporary job when she joined Amazon. Today, she’s risen through the ranks to become a general manager in Texas. Read more here about the people behind the scenes who are helping customers get the products they need.
Amazon donates devices around the worldDonations to Weill Cornell Medical Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Rhode Island Medical Society, Caritas, Arbeiterwohlfahrt, and Hephata Diakonie are the latest in our $5 million commitment to team up with hospitals, schools, and community organizations. We’re supplying Amazon Devices (Kindle, Fire tablets, Echo, Fire TV, and more) to those in need amid COVID‑19. These devices help connect elderly residents in care homes, hospital patients, and their families. More details here.
Support in Amazon’s HQ citiesThe ongoing COVID‑19 crisis has impacted communities across the U.S., including the cities home to our two corporate headquarters: the Seattle region and Arlington, Virginia. Learn about ways Amazon is supporting local businesses, schools, and organizations during the pandemic here.
April 23Amazon grants $2.5 million to Columbia University for COVID-19 studyAmazon has made a $2.5 million grant to fund research at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health into whether blood plasma from COVID‑19 survivors can prevent and treat COVID‑19 infections. The study is a critical first step in understanding if plasma donated from COVID‑19 survivors can provide effective preventative care for frontline healthcare workers and those at high-risk of poor outcomes from the disease. Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, director of Columbia’s Center for Infection and Immunity, is leading the study in collaboration with colleagues. Read more here.
AWS powers new platform to assess social distancing trendsBuilt on Amazon Web Services, the Maryland Transportation Institute at the University of Maryland has built an interactive analytics platform to help public officials understand how social distancing behavior affects the spread of COVID‑19, mobility, and local economies. The platform is run entirely on AWS, and we donated AWS service credits and technical support to the project. Learn more.
Amazon Live event to benefit Feeding AmericaKellogg’s and Amazon Live will host “At Home Cooking,” a livestreamed cook-a-thon to support Feeding America, today (Thursday) from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Fourteen chefs—including Padma Lakshmi, Emeril Lagasse, and Rocco DiSpirito—will stream live from their kitchens, cooking meals with ingredients commonly found in the pantry and answering viewers’ questions. Amazon Live and Kellogg's are donating directly to Feeding America in conjunction with the event. The stream is available to anyone in the U.S. via the Amazon Shopping App on compatible Fire TV devices, and by visiting amazon.com/live.
April 22Amazon Web Services powers the 2020 NFL Draft The 2020 NFL Draft has gone completely remote amid COVID-19, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the tech partners helping with the success of the event. With AWS's networking, scalability, security, and compute capabilities, we're ensuring that everyone watching—from a prospective player to a fan at home—has a seamless experience throughout the three-day draft. Read more about how AWS is collaborating with the NFL.
Amazon to deliver 6 million meals to underserved and vulnerable populationsAmazon is supporting food banks across the U.S. to donate delivery services of shelf-stable groceries and pre-packaged foods to serve 6 million meals through the end of June. Using our network of Amazon Flex drivers, Amazon has already delivered 427,000 pounds of groceries, representing 336,000 meals, in Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Orlando, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. We’re committed to expanding to 25 U.S. cities and international locations to help those disproportionately impacted by COVID‑19. Read the full story here and USA Today article here.
Amazon Music and Jack Johnson support COVID‑19 relief efforts in HawaiiTo mark the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, and in support of COVID‑19 relief efforts, Amazon Music is teaming up with multi-platinum artist and environmentalist Jack Johnson to present Kokua Festival 2020 – Live from Home. Streaming Saturday, April 25th, the Kokua Festival will feature musical performances as well as cooking lessons from some of state’s top chefs. Donations from the festival will support environmental education in schools and programs that promote food security and sustainable local food systems in Hawaii. Fans can get ready for the festival with the Kokua 2020 Playlist, and watch the show on Saturday via Amazon Music’s Twitch channel.
April 21New entertainment choices with Amazon DevicesIn addition to resources from Amazon Devices to keep you connected and informed, here are three new entertainment options.
- Stream "Mondays with Michelle Obama" from the YouTube app on your Fire TV every Monday through May 11.
- Sesame Street and Headspace launched a new meditation series for children. Families with kids can watch Cookie Monster and Elmo on the YouTube app on Fire TV.
- Amazon Live is also partnering with Kellogg's to host At Home Cooking, a livestreamed cook-a-thon to support Feeding America, on Thursday, April 23 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. The stream is available to anyone in the U.S. via the Amazon Shopping App on compatible Fire TV devices, and by visiting amazon.com/live on Fire tablet, desktop, and mobile.
Amazon joins a coalition to support small businesses with educational content and resourcesAs part of the new Stand for Small coalition, Amazon is providing resources to small businesses navigating the impacts of COVID-19. This includes free use of business applications such as Amazon Chime, Amazon WorkDocs, and Amazon WorkSpaces, as well as free use of Amazon Web Services for 12 months using AWS Free Tier. These tools will help small businesses use the cloud, communicate, and collaborate. Amazon is also providing complimentary access to training and educational tools from its Amazon Small Business Academy to help entrepreneurs learn how to build their business online. Learn more about Amazon's small business resources here.
How we’re protecting customers from price gougingWe’re working around the clock to provide the products and services people need. This includes taking a number of important steps to keep prices fair and protect our customers from the unethical—and, in some cases, illegal—practice of price gouging. Read Vice President of Public Policy Brian Huseman’s op-ed in The Tennessean.
Florida SNAP beneficiaries can now use benefits for Amazon grocery ordersIn collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture, Amazon has expanded its participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Online Purchasing Pilot to Florida. The pilot enables customers to use SNAP benefits for online grocery purchases and is already live in Alabama, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, and Washington. We are committed to making food accessible through online shopping and we look forward to adding more states soon. Read about the program.
April 20Amazon donates 10,000 Fire 7 tablets to California studentsAmazon joined a coalition of companies answering a call from California Governor Gavin Newsom to help the state’s most vulnerable youth. Amazon is donating 10,000 Fire 7 tablets to the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation, a non-profit supporting the state’s public education system, to help middle and high school students with distance learning.
The story behind rainbows in windows around the worldAmid the COVID-19 pandemic, children are displaying rainbows in their windows and thanking essential workers who continue to do their jobs enabling many people to stay home. See images and Amazon videos supporting the rainbow movement here.
How one teacher is using free robotics coursework from Amazon Future EngineerWith schools closed, kitchens and living rooms are now classrooms in homes across the country. Wyman Khuu is one of thousands of teachers determined to make it work for his students. "I don't want the coronavirus gap to exist," said Khuu. "My priority is to make remote learning feel like school so they can learn the things they need to learn and continue getting the education they deserve." Read the full story.
April 19Alexa answers your questions about COVID-19Alexa can now answer tens of thousands of questions related to COVID-19 in countries around the world, and we are working to provide accurate and timely information from official government and news sources globally. Read more here about how to use Alexa and Amazon Devices to stay informed, connected, and entertained.
April 18AWS accelerates COVID-19 research for Jameel Institute at Imperial College LondonExperts at the Imperial College London and its Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics are leveraging Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide public health agencies and governments with real-time data and models to inform COVID-19 responses. With the help of AWS, researchers can quickly review data from around the world to understand transmission and outbreak severity, as well as the impact of different intervention methods. Read more about efforts from AWS customers and partners.
Work-from-home tips from a manager with Amazon’s virtual customer service programMichelle Overturf is a military spouse with a home-based career. "Your job and your home life all start to blend together,” she said. “So you need to find ways to keep them separate.” Overturf shares advice here for maintaining work-life harmony during the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 17Amazon and Fred Hutchinson launch Covidwatch volunteer studyAmazon is collaborating with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center on a new volunteer study announced today called Covidwatch. The study will investigate infection rates, transmission times, and potential re-infections, while providing data analysis to the broader scientific community. Amazon is providing funding as well as technical expertise web hosting from AWS, and is working closely with Fred Hutch’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease research team, who are managing the study. Read more here.
Amazon donates masks to public health services in EuropeOver the past week, we have distributed millions of masks to all Amazon associates, delivery service partners, Amazon Flex participants, and seasonal employees, and we are encouraging everyone to use them. As a result, we’re now deploying our logistics teams to deliver 700,000 masks to public health services and other essential workers in eight countries around Europe. We’ll distribute 100,000 masks in the U.K., Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and Poland as well as 50,000 masks in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Any N-95 masks we receive continue to be donated to healthcare workers on the front lines or made available through Amazon Business to healthcare and government organizations at cost. Read more here.
Stream songs from the “Singing Surgeon” on Amazon MusicOrthopedic surgery resident Dr. Elvis Francois has always loved music and connects with patients through songs. Now, he’s released “Music Is Medicine”, recorded with pianist and fellow resident Dr. William Robinson to benefit The Center of Disaster Philanthropy COVID-19 Response Fund. The songs are available on streaming services, including on Amazon Music. Listeners can say, "Alexa, play the Singing Surgeon" in the Amazon Music app and on Alexa-enabled devices to hear him sing. Dr. Francois is releasing this music to offer comfort to those looking for solace in these difficult times, and is raising money to help his colleagues in the field.
April 16Their work helps millions stay homeThe people who work in Amazon's operations network are making sure customers can get what they need while the pandemic makes sheltering in place a matter of both personal and public health. Meet some of the Amazonians who are stepping up during these unprecedented times.
Katie Smith joined Amazon in March after being laid off from her job in the food industry. Now she helps manage inventory as it comes into the fulfillment center in Robbinsville, New Jersey. She said she's reassured by the safety procedures at Amazon. "When you walk in, they take your temperature. And they're passing out masks for us at the front door."
AWS helps educational institutions quickly transition to remote learningAmazon Web Services (AWS) and members of its Partner Network are supporting schools across the world transition to online learning amid COVID-19. AWS partners like Blackboard, Canvas by Instructure, and others, provide a variety of education technology (EdTech) resources, and AWS solutions architects and experts are available virtually to help establish remote learning environments, consult on the best virtual resources for each school’s unique needs, and provide technical guidance. AWS is also working with EdTech companies to provide infrastructure for education ministries, colleges, and schools in Italy, India, Egypt, Brazil, and elsewhere, to quickly deploy remote-learning platforms. Read more about efforts from AWS customers and partners.
An Amazon general manager shares his thoughts on “doing something so much greater than oneself”
"It’s this feeling of doing something so much greater than oneself." A GM in one of our fulfillment centers talks about what it’s like being a veteran and serving his community during COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/SUyTo2cnCy— Amazon News (@amazonnews) April 16, 2020
Amazon publishes annual letter to shareholders from Jeff Bezos, founder and CEORead the letter here.
April 15Amazon encourages U.S. residents to participate in short study to help public health organizationsThe Delphi Research Group at Carnegie Mellon University is running a short survey to gather data about U.S. residents who are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19. This data will help the Delphi Group forecast COVID-19 hospitalizations to come, and will help guide the response of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local public health organizations. Amazon is encouraging Americans interested in participating to complete a brief, two-minute survey about their symptoms. Participation is entirely voluntary and no personal information will be collected by or shared with Amazon. Take the survey.
Amazon continues to support communities around the world through device donationsAmazon is donating $5 million in devices to support communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. New efforts include:
- The Seattle Children's Hospital received Kindle Kids Edition devices and Fire HD 8 tablets to help isolated patients and their families stay connected and entertained while in treatment.
- Albero Della Vita—a non-profit organization based in Italy that fosters the development of children, their families, and communities—received Fire HD 8 tablets so families in need can stay entertained and communicate with loved ones while in isolation.
- The Seattle Storm, a professional basketball team based in Seattle, received Echo Dot devices to give away to fans participating in the Seattle Storm daily workout series, which encourages people to stay active while at home. Fans can ask Alexa to set daily reminders to break a sweat with the Storm Workout skill voiced by Sue Bird.
AWS helps streamline volunteer and community relief responsesAmazon Web Services helped Crisis Cleanup, a software platform, launch new websites to streamline volunteer and community relief responses to COVID-19. The websites enable relief groups to conduct wellness checks of elderly individuals or those with a compromised immune system, and coordinate deliveries of food, medicine, and pet supplies to those in need. Learn more.
April 14Sarah Rhoads, VP, Amazon Global Air: We'll continue rising to the challenge of COVID-19
COVID-19 is our biggest challenge yet. From flying masks around the world to rolling out daily temp checks, we’ll continue rising to the challenge of keeping our team safe. https://t.co/NINuhSHF7D pic.twitter.com/OvLBWw3bGc— Amazon News (@amazonnews) April 14, 2020
Amazon supports Seattle-area rental assistance programAmazon has provided $50,000 to support the expansion of the Home Base program, which was originally designed to fight homelessness by preventing evictions and will now provide rental assistance to King County households whose income has been impacted by COVID-19. United Way of King County, City of Seattle, the Seattle Foundation, and others have raised $5 million for the fund to help an estimated 2,000 families. The Amazon donation helped meet this goal. Read more about the Home Base program.
AWS customers and partners seek solutions during the COVID-19 crisisAmazon Web Services (AWS) customers and partners around the world are helping in the fight against COVID-19. Their efforts include accelerating research, compiling COVID-19 data, scaling telehealth solutions, supporting the rapid expansion of online learning to keep students engaged in their studies, and more. Read the full story.
When scaling your workload is a matter of saving livesIn March, a group of volunteer professionals reached out to Werner Vogels, Amazon CTO, about supporting a scenario planning tool that modeled the potential impact of COVID-19. The group, led by former White House Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil, needed to scale their model so governors across the US could understand the volume of exposure, infection, and hospitalization to inform response plans. In close partnership with AWS and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the group moved the model to the cloud, allowing them to run multiple scenarios simultaneously and generate a full report in hours rather than a week. Read the full story.
Prime Video adds selection of free content from HBO, CBSN, MLB, and the NBAPrime Video is helping customers stay entertained while at home with a number of new free content offerings available this week, including:
- More than 30 TV shows and movies from HBO including Big Little Lies, McMillion$, Ballers, Silicon Valley, Succession, and more. These shows are available now, for free, to Amazon customers in the US. To access this free content from HBO, customers just need to sign into their Amazon Account—no Prime membership required.
- CBSN, a 24-hour news channel from CBS News, is available for free on Prime Video in the U.S. Anyone with an Amazon account can now access 24/7 news coverage from CBS News through Prime Video. Like HBO, to access CBSN on Prime Video, customers just need to sign into their Amazon Account—no Prime membership required.
- The top 30 MLB games from 2019, as well as nearly 80 NBA Hardwood Classics, are now available for Prime members in the U.S. looking to get their sports fix while play is suspended.
An Amazon IT support technician for Amazon Air Cargo shares his experience in an op-edAs an Amazon employee for the past four years, Jeff Quinton writes, "I firmly believe Amazon is working to provide safe job opportunities and plays a leading role in helping communities across the country during this challenging time. The team I work with is like a family to me and when things happen inside and outside the workplace, management lets us know that we matter and they care about us." Read his full story here.
Amazon helps Seattle students obtain resources and essential itemsAmazon has given a $150,000 grant to the Alliance for Education's Right Now Needs Fund to support Seattle Public Schools students and families experiencing hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. The donation includes flexible funding and credits to shop online for eligible groceries, health products, and personal care items sold on Amazon, which will be delivered directly to doorsteps. Amazon created the Right Now Needs Fund in October 2018, with an initial $2 million grant, to support all 104 public schools in Seattle. The fund provides staff and community members with resources to address the urgent and basic needs of their students. Learn more about the Right Now Needs Fund here.
April 13Vice President Mike Pence acknowledges Amazon's hiring as "we face this pandemic together."
In addition to the 100,000 workers already hired, @Amazon is adding another 75,000 & increasing hourly pay. Thank you, @Amazon for working every day to meet the needs of the American people as we face this pandemic together.https://t.co/nDmoy02E6u— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) April 13, 2020
Amazon hiring for additional 75,000 jobs; has brought on 100,000+ new associates in the last four weeksOn March 16, we announced Amazon would invest over $350 million globally to increase pay for our teams during the coronavirus pandemic and would hire an additional 100,000 people in full and part-time jobs across our operations network to keep as many people as possible working during this crisis. Today, we are proud to announce that our original 100,000 jobs pledge is filled and those new employees are working at sites across the U.S. helping to serve customers. We continue to see increased demand as our teams support their communities, and are going to continue to hire, creating an additional 75,000 jobs to help serve customers during this unprecedented time. Interested candidates can apply at www.amazon.com/jobsnow. We know many people have been economically impacted as jobs in areas like hospitality, restaurants, and travel are lost or furloughed as part of this crisis and we welcome anyone out of work to join us at Amazon until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back. We also continue to invest in pay increases and previously expected to spend $350 million to increase wages during this unprecedented time—we now expect that to be nearly $700 million. 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, and you can read more about our safety efforts.
How Amazon is powering COVID-19 diagnostics of the futureTeresa Carlson, vice president for Amazon Web Services (AWS), spoke in-depth with Forbes about the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative, a program to support customers working on better, more accurate diagnostic solutions. The piece highlights several AWS customers participating in the initiative, including an up-close look at new research from the University of British Columbia and Vancouver General Hospital on using CT scans to determine whether patients have COVID-19. Read the full story.
Amazon supports computer science students with laptop donations and free online resourcesAmazon Future Engineer is helping high school computer science students in need prepare for Advanced Placement (AP) exams through laptop donations and new free online resources. With schools closed, students have to study and take AP tests, which can provide college credit, at home. To help students navigate this challenging situation, Amazon Future Engineer is donating 4,000 laptops and making new online computer science resources, including exam prep, free. Amazon Future Engineer is a childhood-to-career program inspiring and supporting students from underserved and underrepresented communities to pursue computer science. Learn more.
Amazon Music collaborates with H.E.R. to raise donations for the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief FundAmazon Music will make a donation to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund for every view of two-time Grammy Award winner H.E.R.'s Instagram Live Series, Girls With Guitars (8 p.m. Eastern) up to a total of $30,000.
April 12New ways we're getting groceries to customers during the COVID-19 crisisAmazon and Whole Foods Market continue prioritizing the health and safety of customers and employees, while also working to meet the unprecedented demand for grocery delivery. We've expanded services, launched new features, and opened stores in order to serve the dramatic increase in customer demand. Read more.
AWS and Salesforce help keep service agents safe and connected with customersSalesforce and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have teamed up to help organizations stand up virtual contact centers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Going virtual keeps service agents safe while allowing them to remain connected with customers. Specifically, Amazon and Salesforce are offering Salesforce Care customers credits for Amazon Connect, AWS' cloud-based contact center service. Learn more.
April 11AWS powers telemedicine platform to increase patient care during COVID-19MyClinic365 is donating its telemedicine platform, which is powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), to doctors and allied healthcare professionals in Ireland for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. The platform provides services like secure messaging, scheduling chatbots, automated prescription requests, and video consultations, decreasing administrative tasks for healthcare professionals so they can provide faster patient care.
An Amazon director of information technology shares work-from-home adviceThough Amazon corporate offices are closed around the world, new employees are starting every week. Director of Information Technology Kellie Green, and her team, invented a new process to onboard employees remotely and shares some of the lessons they've learned about working from home along the way. Read more about Green's insights.
April 10Amazon delivers supplies to UW Medical Center and Seattle Children's HospitalAs part of our effort to support local communities during this difficult time, Amazon delivered swabs for use in COVID-19 test kits to University of Washington Medical Center and Seattle Children's Hospital. The swabs were part of a shipment of medical supplies we ordered to help organizations fighting the pandemic, and we will continue leveraging our operations network to deliver critical materials to those who need it most._GSH8451.jpg _GSH8671-2.jpg
Amazon donating $5 million in devices globallyAmazon is teaming up with hospitals, schools, and community organizations around the globe to supply $5 million in Amazon Devices (Kindle, Fire tablets, Echo, Fire TV, and more) to those impacted by COVID-19. The device donations will help a variety of people who need support, including frontline healthcare workers who need to safely communicate remotely with patients as well as kids who need learning resources while schools and libraries are closed. Read more about our ongoing device donations here. Learn more.
Amazon to welcome a virtual class of interns for Summer 2020Amazon interns play a role in building the future for our customers, and this summer, Amazon will host more than 8,000 interns around the world—the company's largest intern class to date—offering an entirely virtual experience. Along with the virtual curriculum, the internship will include mentorship with tenured Amazonians, moderated group discussions, opportunities to connect with other interns, weekly fireside chats with senior leaders, and a variety of networking events. Tools like Amazon Chime will help interns connect with teammates, mentors, managers, and other interns. Amazon Future Engineer will also welcome its class of nearly 100 interns, virtually. These interns represent our first ever Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship recipients and are each receiving $40,000 from Amazon over the course of their four-year undergraduate experience to pursue a computer science degree.
April 9Amazon Spheres light up blue to support frontline workersWe illuminated The Spheres with blue light this evening in a show of support for those on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. As part of the #MakeItBlue campaign, buildings and landmarks across the U.S. are lighting up to draw attention to those providing essential services for their communities.
Amazon supports a $10 million emergency initiative for artists and writersAmazon Literary Partnership has joined a coalition of national arts grant makers to create a $10 million initiative for U.S. artists and writers. Artist Relief will support those struggling financially during the outbreak through grants and serve as an ongoing informational resource. It will also co-launch a survey to better identify and address the needs of artists during this difficult time. Learn more.
Scalable testing for CoronavirusAs we’ve discussed on this blog before, Amazon is focused on protecting the health and safety of our employees while continuing to serve people who need our services more than ever. Our employees are heroes helping people get the products they need delivered to their doorsteps, products they might not otherwise be able to get while maintaining social distancing. Read details.
AWS makes critical COVID-19 data publicly availableAmazon Web Services (AWS) has created a public source for critical COVID-19 data to aid ongoing research. The data lake, which compiles datasets from multiple sources, will help healthcare workers, medical researchers, scientists, and public health officials working to understand and fight the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. The data lake includes information from Johns Hopkins University, The New York Times, Definitive Healthcare, and the Allen Institute for AI. AWS will add to this data lake as other reliable sources make their information available. Learn more here.
April 8Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos visits an Amazon fulfillment center and Whole Foods Market store to thank employees
Today's visits by our founder and CEO @JeffBezos to say thank you to Amazon fulfillment center and Whole Foods employees. We're all incredibly proud of the thousands of our colleagues working on the front lines to get critical goods to people everywhere during this crisis. pic.twitter.com/dygb345wDM— Amazon News (@amazonnews) April 9, 2020
Masks have been delivered across the Amazon operations networkThe millions of masks we ordered weeks ago have been distributed across our network. They are available to all Amazon associates, delivery service partners, Amazon Flex participants, seasonal employees and Whole Foods Market stores employees, and we are encouraging everyone to take and use them.
Supporting hospital staff and patients through device donationsAmazon Devices is helping healthcare organizations on the front lines through device donations. Here are a few examples:
- Northwell Health, one of the leading, non-profit healthcare systems in New York, received Echo Show devices to help staff communicate with patients in isolation, reducing the need for staff to enter patient rooms and conserving personal protective equipment.
- University of California, San Francisco hospitals received Fire HD 8 tablets to help medical professionals communicate with patients remotely, and patients can also use the tablets to communicate with family and friends while in isolation.
- The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation received Fire 7 tablets and Fire 7 Kids Edition tablets for patients in isolation and families to use at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak campus in Michigan.
Highlighting a fulfillment center general managerMSNBC featured Richard Hanna, general manager at an Amazon facility in Fall River, Massachusetts, in its hero-of-the-day segment. The video shows how Hanna his team are fulfilling essential services during the pandemic. Watch the segment.
See safety measures in our fulfillment centers
Our latest safety updates: Masks, ✅ Temperature checks, ✅ and more. Amazon operations in action. WATCH: pic.twitter.com/1KEJRWuP2p— Amazon News (@amazonnews) April 8, 2020
Giving our customers more time to return itemsWe're temporarily extending return windows in light of the ongoing global health crisis. Most items ordered through Amazon or seller partners in the U.S. and Canada between March 1, 2020, and April 30, 2020, can now be returned until May 31, 2020. For more about customer orders and deliveries, click here.
April 7"Alexa, how do I make a face mask?"We're continuing to add new Alexa skills and experiences to keep you informed. Just ask, "Alexa, how do I make a face mask?" to hear the Center for Disease Control's recommendation for making a face covering at home with a bandana, coffee filter, scissors, and two rubber bands. Alexa provides step-by-step instructions. Also, here are more ways to use Alexa to stay informed and connected.
Fleabag theater production on Prime Video will benefit COVID-19 charitiesBeginning April 10, U.S. and UK customers can stream the theater production of Fleabag on Amazon Prime Video to benefit charities supporting those impacted by COVID-19. Phoebe Waller-Bridge created and wrote the production, which inspired the award-winning series from Amazon Studios. All proceeds generated from streaming the production will go to organizations like The National Emergencies Trust, NHS Charities Together, Acting For Others, and the newly launched Fleabag support fund, which will distribute grants to UK theatre industry affected by the crisis.
Amazon is piloting new health and safety measure for employeesWe continue to explore even more preventative measures to support the health and safety of employees, who are providing a critical service in our communities. We are piloting disinfectant fogging, a practice commonly used by hospitals and airlines to supplement the enhanced cleaning measures that are already in place. We've also rolled out mandatory social distancing, temperature checks, and masks for everyone to use from arrival through shift departure, as we remain committed to keeping our teams healthy and safe.Amazon piloting new health and safety measure for employees
AWS supports nonprofit effort to deploy one million volunteer health workersAmazon Web Services (AWS) is supporting a new initiative from Volunteer Surge, a nonprofit consortium, to recruit, train, and deploy one million volunteer health workers. These volunteers will help address surging healthcare needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. AWS is powering the consortium's online training platform through its cloud computing services. Read more.
Amazon donates devices and funds to a Houston nursing facilityAmazon Music collaborated with hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion to make a monetary donation to a nursing home in the artist's hometown of Houston, Texas. Amazon Devices also provided nursing home residents with Fire 7 tablets to help them stay connected with their family members.
April 6Amazon Prime Video and Twitch to stream charity concert on April 18Amazon Prime Video and Twitch, an Amazon subsidiary, will stream One World: Together At Home, a charity concert benefiting healthcare workers, on April 18. Global Citizen, a group dedicated to ending extreme poverty, organized the concert in partnership with the World Health Organization and the United Nations. The concert will include performances from Billie Eilish, Elton John, and Paul McCartney among others, and will be hosted by Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Stephen Colbert. For more information visit Global Citizen.
Amazon donates 8,200 laptops to Seattle Public SchoolsAmazon is donating 8,200 laptops, a gift valued at over $2 million, to Washington's largest school district. This donation will help ensure all Seattle Public Schools (SPS) students have access to a device so they can participate in online learning. The district will prioritize distribution of laptops to elementary students who do not have access to a device at home. "Amazon's gift comes at a crucial time for our students," said SPS Superintendent Denise Juneau. Read the full story here.
April 5Getting millions of masks to our employeesThe millions of masks Amazon ordered weeks ago are now arriving, and we're distributing them to our teams as quickly as possible. Amazon Air flights are currently transporting masks across the country to ensure all sites in our operations network have them by early this week. Any N-95 masks we receive we are either donating to healthcare workers on the front lines or making them available through Amazon Business to healthcare and government organizations at cost. For more information, read what SVP of Worldwide Operations Dave Clark wrote in his recent update on how we're protecting our employees.
Meet a few of the 100,000 newly-hired Amazon associatesThe Amazon fulfillment center in Dallas, Texas is a sizable departure from Darby Griffin's preschool classroom where she's taught for the past three years. With school closed during the outbreak, she recently started working at Amazon helping manage new inventory. "It was a surreal moment after I got my badge and I walked into the building," she said. "It suddenly hit me that I was moving into a new chapter of my life. I've only ever worked with kids, so this was a big change." Read Darby's story.
How free content from Amazon makes time at home more educational and enjoyableTo help parents keep kids entertained and inspire learning, Amazon has opened its family-centric programming to all customers, no Amazon Prime subscription needed. See how one family is finding respite in a wide variety of free books, apps, and show.
April 4Amazon expands USDA SNAP Online Purchasing PilotWe're committed to making food accessible through online shopping, especially as millions are being encouraged to stay home. As part of our partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture, we've expanded the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Online Purchasing Pilot to Alabama and Nebraska. The pilot, which allows customers to use SNAP benefits for online grocery purchases, is already live in New York, Washington, Oregon, and Iowa, and we look forward to adding more states soon. You can read about the program here.
"Alexa, give me tips for cleaning" and more new features available for customersNew Alexa features include: tips for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces around your home, voice donations to the United Nations Foundation, and special store hours. Click here for details. Also, Prime Video and SXSW are launching a 10-day online film festival in late April that will be available on Fire TV, Fire tablet, and Echo Show. Read more here.
April 3AWS supports White House effort to increase access to digital health servicesThe White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Consumer Technology Association, and American Telemedicine Association launched TechHealthDirectory.com, a new website featuring a growing list of digital health resources—from remote monitoring to telemedicine. The website is hosted on Amazon Web Services' cloud infrastructure, and we are proud to help ensure health care professionals around the world have access to this important resource during the COVID-19 pandemic. More information can be found here.
Elle UK highlights Amazon Flex Driver for her essential service during the pandemicShortly before London was given a stay-at-home order, Hannah Pratt became an Amazon Flex driver to earn additional income to supplement her personal business. Elle UK has now featured Pratt for her critical role delivering essential grocery and hygiene items to customers staying at home. Of her job delivering critical items, Pratt said, "When you do see a self-isolating sign, it reminds you how real it is. It's those moments when you think, 'You really do need me.' It makes me feel like I'm being helpful." Read the full story here.
Amazon will match donations 2-to-1 for Mary's Place, a nonprofit fighting homelessness in the Seattle areaDuring the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofit organizations are more important than ever. Right now, our partners at Mary's Place – a nonprofit that supports women, children, and families on their journey out of homelessness in the Seattle area – are serving more meals and purchasing extra medical supplies and equipment to keep families and staff safe and healthy. To further support Mary's Place, Amazon will match all donations to the nonprofit, up to $1 million, and will match gifts of $500 or more 2-to-1 from now through May 6. Click here to donate to Mary's Place for the Amazon match, and read more here about Amazon's ongoing relationship with Mary's Place.
Amazon contributes to a new country music fund supporting musicians facing financial hardshipAmazon Music is contributing to the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund, supporting musicians and music industry professionals suffering financially due to the pandemic. With cancelled shows and venues shutting down, many in the industry are facing uncertain futures. Details about the fund will be announced during an ACM special airing Sunday night, April 5 on CBS, with a pre-show event on Amazon Music's Twitch channel.
Amazon donates €21 million to relief organizations across EuropeIn Europe, Amazon has committed €21 million (almost $23 million USD) to support those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Red Cross organizations in the UK, Germany, France, and Spain, as well as the Civil Protection Department in Italy, will receive donations totaling €12.5 million. Each of these countries will also receive €1 million to donate to local nonprofit organizations in communities where Amazon employees live and work. Nonprofits in Poland, Turkey, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Austria will also receive donations totaling €3.5 million. These donations are in addition to existing work Amazon and its employees have been doing across Europe. Read more here.
April 2Response to recent eventsThe world is facing an unprecedented event right now: a combined public health and economic crisis. With much of the population on lockdown in the countries where we operate, Amazon is proud to be one of the companies able to fill the essential needs of our communities during this challenging time. With the social distancing required to fight COVID-19, delivering items directly to someone's door has never been more important, and our employees are serving as lifelines to tens of millions of people in this crisis. Read more from Dave Clark, SVP Worldwide Operations.
$100 million gift from Amazon CEO and founder to Feeding AmericaToday, to support those depending on our nation's foodbanks, Jeff Bezos made a $100 million gift to Feeding America—the largest U.S. nonprofit focused on food security. Feeding America will distribute the funds to their national network of food banks and food pantries, helping those in need.
Update on how we're protecting employeesTo date, we've made over 150 significant process changes to ensure the health and safety of our Amazon teams. The complete rollout of temperature checks across our entire U.S. and European operations network and Whole Foods Market stores is expected by early next week, at which point we will be testing hundreds of thousands of people daily. Read details in this message from Dave Clark, Senior Vice President of Amazon Worldwide Operations.CC8A4761-19.jpg CC8A4818-13.jpg CC8A4856-8.jpg CC8A4902-3.jpg
Supporting teachers' virtual classes with no-cost resourcesAmazon Web Services (AWS) Educate is mobilizing its vast network of educators who have experience teaching online. Starting April 6, webinars on a variety of remote learning topics will be available at no cost. Read the full story here.
April 1Amazon donates Kindle Kids Edition devicesAmazon Devices & Services is donating devices to communities impacted by COVID-19. This week, Amazon provided 7th graders at Rainier Prep school in Seattle with Kindle Kids Edition devices and WiFi hot spots so they can easily access books while school is out and libraries are closed. Rainier Prep is one of Washington's first charter schools, committed to college and career readiness for low income, students of color and immigrant students.
Work-from-home guidanceOn April 1, we recommended that corporate office employees who work in a role that can be done from home should do so through April 24. We updated this recommendation on April 14, and here is the new guidance: As the situation continues to stabilize in communities around the world, Amazon will localize work from home guidance beyond April 24 to follow local government orders and dates, which will vary by location. When local governments say it is okay to return to the office and after we implement any unique government-issued requirements, Amazon will provide teams with options to gradually return to their office or to continue working from home.
AWS Public Sector Partners address COVID-19 challenges around the worldPublic Sector Partners within the AWS Partner Network (APN) have stepped up to support communities during the ongoing global health crisis. In Latin America, Whyline is using artificial intelligence to reduce overcrowding and congestion in hospitals by allowing patients to view wait times and join the queue remotely. And in Chile, CloudHesive has used their technology to help the government reduce travelers waiting in airports to minimize exposure. In Italy, radiologists are using Exprivia II, a cloud-based system that applies machine learning to medical imaging, to track the spread of the new virus. To learn more about APN Partners collaborating with public sector organizations around the world, visit the Public Sector blog.
Seattle-based COVID-19 Response Fund distributes $10 million in grantsAmazon contributed $1 million to help launch the Seattle Foundation's COVID-19 Response Fund in early March. Since then, contributions from other corporations and individuals have resulted in a $15 million COVID-19 Response Fund. Recently, the Seattle Foundation distributed $10 million in grants from the fund to community-based organizations that are responding to the immediate needs of vulnerable workers and families in the Puget Sound region. So far, 128 nonprofits have received funds to bolster frontline responses to the pandemic. Read the update here.
March 31New content options for Alexa and Amazon Devices, and new routines for staying homeA few new developments include: Amazon Devices is participating in the World Health Organization's #PlayApartTogether campaign; we're enabling customers to access even more free digital books and stream hundreds of SiriusXM channels for free on Alexa-enabled devices through May 15; and Alexa can now help you adjust to your new schedule with two new routines – "Stay at Home" and "Work from Home." The "Stay at Home" routine notifies you to grab lunch and plan dinner, for example, while "Work from Home" tells you when it's time to get up and stretch, or wrap up for the day. Each routine can be easily enabled through the Alexa app. To learn about all the ways that Alexa and Amazon Devices are supporting customers during COVID-19, click here.
Twitch Stream Aid raises more than $2.7 million for COVID-19 relief fundTwitch Stream Aid, a charity livestream hosted by Amazon subsidiary Twitch, raised more than $2.7 million for COVID-19 relief efforts. The livestream, which took place March 28, brought together gaming, music, sports, and entertainment personalities to encourage the global effort to stay home and drive donations. Funds benefited the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization, powered by the United Nations Foundation. Donations can still be made here.
A look at our health and safety measures for grocery employees and customersWe are working quickly to deliver groceries and essential items to customers as fast as possible through Whole Foods Market, Amazon Fresh, and Prime Now. We're also prioritizing the health and safety of our employees and customers, and we've put in place enhanced cleanliness and sanitation efforts. See the photos below of our grocery employees, and read more.KM_200330_blog_06.JPG To support social distancing guidelines, cash registers at Whole Foods Market now have Plexiglas barriers between customers and cashiers. KATHERINE MARKS / Amazon KM_200330_blog_15.JPG In addition to Plexiglas barriers and other social distancing measures, we have suspended all self-serve food offerings at Whole Foods Market. KATHERINE MARKS / Amazon KM_200330_blog_25.JPG A Whole Foods Market team member sanitizing carts. We have also made hand sanitizer readily available for shoppers and team members. KATHERINE MARKS / Amazon KM_200330_blog_34.JPG We are closing stores up to two hours early to give our team members more time to restock shelves, sanitize our stores, and rest in preparation for the next day. KATHERINE MARKS / Amazon
"Alexa, what do I do if I think I have COVID-19?"We're working hard to ensure Alexa is as helpful as possible during the COVID-19 crisis. We built a U.S. experience that lets you use Alexa to check your risk level for COVID-19 at home. Ask, "Alexa, what do I do if I think I have COVID-19?" or "Alexa, what do I do if I think I have coronavirus?" She will ask a series of questions and provide CDC guidance given your risk level and symptoms. Read more.
March 30Providing 73,000 meals to elderly and vulnerable residents in the Seattle areaAmazon is collaborating with local catering business Gourmondo to distribute 73,000 meals, over the course of a month, to 2,700 elderly and medically-vulnerable residents in Seattle and King County during the COVID-19 outbreak. "Amazon is committed to supporting people in immediate need across the globe and right here in King County—and right now it's more important than ever we pay close attention to our most vulnerable neighbors," said John Schoettler, Amazon vice president, Global Real Estate and Facilities. Read more.
Amazon grants over $5 million to 400 small businesses in SeattleAmazon provided $5.5 million in relief to more than 400 small businesses through cash grants and free rent as part of our Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund announced on March 10. These businesses support local jobs that are a critical part of the Seattle and Puget Sound economy. Amazon's grants will help small businesses confront their economic challenges right now. Learn more about early recipients.
March 29CNN interview with Jay Carney on Amazon's COVID-19 responseAmazon's SVP of Global Corporate Affairs discusses hiring and how the company is addressing the pandemic. Watch here.
Health and safety measures from the global Amazon networkAmazonians all over the world have sent in images of the ways their facilities are adapting to fight the spread of COVID-19. See below for snapshots that capture everything from the enhanced cleaning protocols to the many visual reminders of the need to practice social distancing. Read more here about how Amazon prioritizes health and safety while fulfilling customer orders.DSC03923.JPG 6 foot distance exiting the site.JPG 6ft Rule_Break Room Tables_2.JPG AVP1_Time-Clocks3.jpg 20200321_191038.JPG Cleaning-Cart.JPG Box Guys 6ft - IND8 RELO.JPG DPH4 3.JPG DPH4 2.JPG DSC02124.JPG DSC02130.JPG DSC03869.JPG DSC03896.JPG DSC03916.JPG DSC03913.JPG DSC03932.JPG DSC03956.JPG LAX9 Sort Station - 6' Spacing.JPG LAX9 Decant Station Out Of Order - 6' Spacing.JPG LGB8 Entrance singage2 6ft.JPG MDW6 SD Break Room.JPG MSN5-Time-Clock.JPG MDW9 Back Breakroom Microwaves.JPG PIT 6' (2).JPG Sort Slide Guards.JPG super-awesome-DET1-board.JPG timeclock-6ft-BOS7.JPG Turnstiles 6' - reviewed.JPG Unknown-1.JPG
March 28Amazon teams up with Lyft to help drivers find workAmazon and Lyft are collaborating to reduce the hardships drivers are facing due to a drop in using the ride-hailing service. Lyft is encouraging its drivers to apply for roles in Amazon's fulfillment centers to support grocery and package deliveries. Amazon is ramping up hiring by opening 100,000 new roles to support people relying on Amazon's service in this stressful time. Read more.
Amazon Web Services-powered platform helps Boston Children's Hospital track the spread of COVID-19The Boston Children's Hospital Computational Epidemiology Lab recently launched COVID Near You, a platform built on Amazon Web Services to track the spread of COVID-19. It uses crowdsourced data to create map-based visualizations to help citizens and public health agencies identify current and potential hotspots for COVID-19. COVID Near You provides real-time reports of virus symptoms which can augment traditional public health tracking and help citizens understand COVID-19 symptoms are occurring in their community. Learn more.
Amazon Web Services and Electronic Caregiver help healthcare providers assess COVID-19 symptoms remotelyAmazon Lex is powering smart hub technology for Electronic Caregiver, a health and safety monitoring device provider, to aid in the detection and treatment of COVID-19. The technology allows healthcare professionals to monitor vitals, such as a high temperature and flu-like symptoms, remotely through wearable devices. If an elevated-temperature reading occurs, the technology triggers a voice interaction between the healthcare provider with the wearable and the patient to check symptoms and assess a COVID-19 risk score. The solution can also connect to a physician-on-demand telehealth service to provide additional diagnosis and order prescriptions remotely.
March 27Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos discusses COVID-19 issues and logistics with Washington Governor Jay Inslee
Amazon UK supports NHS initiative to increase COVID-19 testing capacityWe are joining a coalition of UK companies, universities, and research institutions to boost testing capacity for COVID-19. Our logistics network, along with Royal Mail, will deliver test kits to critical workers and diagnostic sites set up around the UK. National Health Service (NHS) staff on the frontlines of the pandemic will be among the first to benefit from the increased testing capacity. Find out more here.
Amazon donates over £3M to relief organizations in the UKAmazon today committed £3.2 million ($3.9M USD) to organizations supporting those most affected by the COVID-19 crisis in the UK, including the British Red Cross and local intuitions in communities where our employees live and work. This donation is part of Amazon's broader ongoing efforts to support customers, employees, and communities in the UK and around the world. Read more.
Amazon Web Services collaborates with Conduent to help government agencies scale COVID-19 responsesWe are working with our Amazon Web Services (AWS) partner, Conduent (a business process and services company), to empower federal, state, and local agencies to better track COVID-19's spread and report on cases and potential exposures. Conduent's disease surveillance and outbreak management platform – Maven (powered by AWS) – can be quickly deployed by healthcare organizations so they can begin performing "contact tracing" across entire regions securely and at scale. In the U.S., Conduent is waiving the software license fee for the Maven COVID-19 module through June 30, 2020, for qualified state and territorial
A message from Dave Clark, SVP Amazon World Wide Operations: Thank You Amazon HeroesTo all of our Amazon heroes on the floor, in the air, or behind the wheel—thank you.Thank You Amazon Heroes
How to use Alexa and Amazon Devices to stay informed and connectedWe want to do everything we can to support customers during these unprecedented times and our teams are working to make Alexa and Amazon Devices (Kindle, Fire tablets, Echo, Fire TV, and more) even more helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.
Providing Music and Amazon Devices to hospital patientsAmazon Music and Amazon Devices are working with Musicians On Call to bring streaming music to hospital patients, as part of the organization's Music Pharmacy program. This program typically brings artists and volunteer musicians into hospitals for acoustic performances. While in-person visits are on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, patients will be able to stream Amazon Music Unlimited for free, on donated Fire 7 tablets.
March 26In a teleconference with the World Health Organization, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos discusses the ways Amazon is helping during the COVID-19 pandemic
Amazon Web Services supports the new White House COVID-19 High Performance Computing ConsortiumThe White House launched the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortiumto provide researchers with access to the most powerful high performance computing resources to help stop the virus. As part of the Consortium, AWS is offering research institutions and companies technical support and AWS service credits to advance research on COVID-19 diagnosis, treatment, and vaccine studies. Researchers and scientists working on time-critical projects can use AWS to instantly access virtually unlimited infrastructure capacity, as well as the latest technologies in compute, storage, and networking to accelerate results. Researchers can find out more on how to get started here.
How Amazon is helping customers get groceriesWe've seen a large increase in people shopping online for groceries through Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market, and wanted to share how we're supporting our customers, caring for our teams, and expanding our deliveries with this increased demand. We've introduced enhanced cleanliness protocols in all our stores and facilities, social distancing guidelines for customers and employees, and more. We're also increasing capacity for delivery and pick-up options for Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market, and working around the clock with suppliers to get the items we know customers need back in stock. This is in addition to the increased pay for our associates. Find out more here.
March 25Amazon providing Seattle-area quarantine patients with more than 250,000 essential itemsAmazon donates thousands of essentials to Kent isolation and quarantine facility
Amazon is donating more than 250,000 critical items to patients in quarantine or recovering from COVID-19 across the Seattle area. Items include linens, towels, shelf-stable food, Amazon Devices, entertainment items, and other supplies.
Amazon is also partnering with Bellevue LifeSpring, an organization providing services to children and families, to help those in need obtain essential items during the outbreak. Families in the Bellevue School District who can't reach food pick-up sites can shop online for eligible groceries, health products, and personal care items sold on Amazon and get them delivered directly to their doorstep.
Amazon Future Engineer is supporting teachers and parents with at-home resourcesWhile students experience classroom disruptions across the U.S., Amazon Future Engineer is providing access to a variety of free, online learning opportunities during the pandemic. Amazon Future Engineer is a childhood-to-career program aimed at increasing access to computer science education for children and adults from underserved and underrepresented communities. Find out more here.
Amazon Web Services helps the World Health Organization accelerate COVID-19 researchWe are working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) to accelerate the effort to track the virus, understand its outbreak, and better contain its spread. AWS is supplying WHO with advanced cloud technologies and technical expertise. This includes building vast "data lakes" aggregating epidemiological country data and rapidly translating medical training videos into different languages.
Helping customers get involved with relief effortsCustomers can use Amazon.com to donate to charities helping those affected by COVID-19, including Feeding America, American Red Cross, and Save the Children. Find out more here, or just say, "Alexa, make a donation to Feeding America COVID-19 Response."
March 24How Amazon prioritizes health and safety while fulfilling customer orders
Now more than ever, Amazon's fulfillment, delivery, and physical store networks play a critical role in serving customers. In these unprecedented times, we remain committed to the health and safety of our employees, partners, and customers. Read more.
Amazonians contribute to All In SeattleAmazonians have joined Seattle community members to raise $27 million to help fund local nonprofits and charities through the All in Seattle initiative. Find out more.
Amazon supports the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund to help musiciansAmazon Music is contributing to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund to support music industry workers in need. MusiCares is the Recording Academy's charitable foundation, and its COVID-19 Relief Fund will support those affected by the unprecedented cancellation of music events and work opportunities during the pandemic. Read more.
March 23We're vigorously combating price gougingAmazon is taking important steps to keep prices fair and protect our customers from those exploiting the current crisis through price gouging. We have zero tolerance for this harmful practice and longstanding policies and systems to protect our customers. Find out what we're doing.
Amazon Care provides infrastructure and logistics support to the Seattle Coronavirus Assessment NetworkThe Amazon Care team is providing specially-trained couriers to help deliver and pick up swab kits to people in the greater Seattle region who qualify for a study led by Public Health – Seattle & King County. The Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN) is a group of medical, public health, and research organizations working together to understand the spread of COVID-19 in the greater Seattle area. Responding to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 crisis is a community effort that requires support from both the private and public sectors. We are eager to leverage Amazon Care's infrastructure and logistics capabilities to support this local effort. Learn more.
Interview with Jay Carney on Amazon's COVID-19 responseAmazon SVP of Global Corporate Affairs, Jay Carney, talks about our global efforts to support communities during the pandemic, including hiring initiatives and efforts to keep employees healthy. Here is a recent interview on CBS with Gayle King.
March 21A message to employees from our CEO and founderJeff Bezos sent the following email to all Amazon employees: "This isn't business as usual, and it's a time of great stress and uncertainty. It's also a moment in time when the work we're doing is its most critical. We've changed our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering essential items like household staples, sanitizers, baby formula, and medical supplies. We're providing a vital service to people everywhere, especially to those, like the elderly, who are most vulnerable. People are depending on us." Read the full email.
March 20Launching the $20 million AWS Diagnostic Initiative to accelerate COVID-19 researchWe are launching the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative—a program to support customers working on better, more accurate diagnostic solutions and promote better collaboration across organizations solving similar problems. As part of this, we are committing an initial investment of $20 million to accelerate diagnostic research, innovation, and development to speed our collective understanding and detection of COVID-19. The AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative begins with participation from 35 global research institutions, startups, and businesses focused on tackling this challenge. Full story.
March 18Donating $1 million to support emergency response efforts in Washington, D.C.Amazon has donated $1 million to kick-start emergency COVID-19 response efforts in the Washington D.C. area. The funds will benefit the four largest foundations supporting vulnerable populations impacted amid the pandemic—including hourly workers, people experiencing homelessness, and the elderly. Amazon is also providing cash and in-kind support to five food service providers in the region. Full story.
Adjusting grocery store hours to help the most vulnerableWhole Foods Market is temporarily adjusting store hours to accommodate those most vulnerable to COVID-19. Customers who are age 60 and over in the U.S. and Canada, and age 70 and over in the UK, are invited to shop beginning one hour before the store opens to the general public under the new adjusted hours. We are setting aside this time to help these customers feel more comfortable shopping at our stores and get needed items in a less crowded environment.
Ongoing, enhanced cleaning in our physical storesTo help protect customers shopping in our physical retail stores, we've enhanced our daily cleaning procedures and are implementing additional nightly cleanings. We continue to educate employees on CDC guidance for maintaining healthy habits and are offering flexibility for employees who need to stay home, plus paid time off for those who are diagnosed with the virus.
March 17Prioritizing essential items in our Operations network
As COVID-19 continues to spread, online shopping has increased, particularly for essential goods. To address this need and help ensure the safety of our associates, we've adjusted our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering higher-priority items. This will result in some of our delivery promises being longer than usual.
Customers can help others through No-Rush ShippingWhile customers can continue to buy any in-stock product in our store, those ordering non-essential items can help others by choosing No-Rush Shipping when available. Selecting the No-Rush option helps us serve customers with the most critical needs first because we can consolidate more orders and make fewer stops in neighborhoods throughout the week.
March 16Hiring 100,000 people to help meet demand and support existing employeesWe're hiring 100,000 new full and part-time employees across the U.S. in our fulfillment centers and delivery network to meet the surge in demand from people relying on Amazon's services during this stressful time. We encourage people across the hospitality, restaurant, and travel industries who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis to work with us until their previous employer can hire them back. Learn more.
Increasing pay in the U.S., UK, Canada, and many EU countriesOur employees in fulfillment centers, transportation operations, stores or those making deliveries are playing an essential role for customers during this crisis. We are recognizing this amazing work with pay increases. Qualifying employees will receive an additional $2 USD per hour in the U.S., C$2 per hour in Canada, £2 per hour in the UK, and approximately €2 per hour in many EU countries. Update April 24: We’ve extended the increased hourly pay outlined below through May 16. We are also extending double overtime pay in the U.S. and Canada. These extensions increase our total investment in pay during COVID-19 to nearly $700 million for our hourly employees and partners. In addition, we are providing flexibility with leave of absence options, including expanding the policy to cover COVID-19 circumstances, such as high-risk individuals or school closures. We continue to see heavy demand during this difficult time and the team is doing incredible work for our customers and the community. Read more about how we’re taking care of employees.
March 15Customers can select unattended delivery optionsCustomers ordering delivery from Prime Now, Amazon Fresh, and Whole Foods Market have the option to select "unattended delivery" during checkout if they prefer not to come into contact with their delivery driver. Customers can specify the drop-off location as part of the check-out process as well. Orders not containing alcohol are eligible for unattended delivery.
Providing teachers and students with online STEM coursesStarting today, the Amazon Future Engineer program will provide free access to computer science courses for students and teachers in the United States. These courses are for independent learners from 6th to 12th grade or teachers working remotely with this age group. Find this content and more on the Amazon Future Engineer website.
March 11Establishing the $25 million Amazon Relief FundWe've established a $25 million Amazon Relief Fund to support our independent delivery service partners and their drivers, Amazon Flex participants, and seasonal employees under financial distress during the pandemic. All of these groups can apply for grants equaling up to two weeks of pay if diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine. Read more.
Supporting employees affected by COVID with paid time offAll Amazon employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine will receive up to two weeks of pay. This ensures employees have the time they need to return to good health without the worry of lost income. This is in addition to unlimited unpaid time off for all hourly employees through the end of April. Full story.
March 10New $5 million fund for small businesses in Amazon's Seattle neighborhood
We created a $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund to help Seattle-area small businesses during this economically challenging time. The fund will support businesses with fewer than 50 employees or less than $7 million in annual revenue. To qualify for a grant, businesses should have a physical presence within a few blocks of Amazon's Regrade or South Lake Union offices, be open to the general public, and rely on foot traffic for customers. Additionally, we are subsidizing two full months of rent for tenants in Amazon-owned buildings. Full story.
March 9Amazon donates $1 million to COVID-19 Response FundWe've contributed $1 million to a COVID-19 Response Fund to rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations at the front lines of the Puget Sound region's COVID-19 outbreak. The fund, which is hosted by the Seattle Foundation, will provide flexible resources to nonprofits and community-based organizations working with those disproportionately affected by the pandemic and the economic consequences of the outbreak. Initial grants will support organizations helping those without sick leave or health insurance, medically fragile individuals, and healthcare workers. Full story.
March 6Amazon employees recommended to work from home
In light of ongoing international COVID-19 developments, we now recommend all employees who can work from home to do so. Employees and partners whose work requires being in their workplace have access to all of their usual paid and unpaid time-off benefits.
We are continuing to pay all hourly staff who work for service providers—from food-service workers to security guards to janitorial staff—supporting our global offices around the world.
February 28Taking action to protect our employees and communitiesIn light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we've taken steps to protect the health of our employees and communities. We've canceled large events, moved our annual shareholders meeting online, and paused tours of our fulfillment centers and headquarters. Additionally, we've transitioned to virtual job interviews where possible and increased the frequency of cleaning for all facilities globally, ensuring the regular sanitization of high-traffic surfaces like door handles, stairway handrails, elevator buttons, lockers, and touch screens.