Coronavirus infects Amazon employee in Seattle, company says

( Fox )

An Amazon employee in Seattle, Wash., has contracted the novel coronavirus — the first employee among its U.S. workforce to fall ill will COVID-19, the company said.

"We're supporting the affected employee who is in quarantine," an Amazon spokesperson told Fox News.

The e-commerce giant on Tuesday told employees in an email about the employee, who works at Amazon’s South Lake Union office complex in Seattle, where the company’s headquarters are located, Bloomberg reported. The employee left work on Feb. 25 “due to an illness” that the company said it was later informed was the coronavirus. All other employees who came into contact with the sick worker have since been notified.

It was not immediately clear how the employee contracted the virus.

The news comes after at least two Amazon employees in Italy – which has seen a surge of coronavirus cases in recent weeks – were confirmed to have the virus as well, according to the outlet.

In response to the case, the company said “it will limit non-essential travel within the U.S. and cancel warehouse tours,” per Bloomberg, which added some job interviews are now being conducted virtually “rather than face-to-face.”

All of the coronavirus-related fatalities in the U.S. — nine as of this writing — have occurred in Washington State; Seattle is home to the country’s first and largest outbreak of the novel virus.

More specifically, according to the state's department of health, eight of the deaths have occurred in King County, where 21 of the cases are confirmed, while one of the fatalities occurred in Snohomish County, where six others have fallen ill.

The majority of cases in Washington involve patients who are residents of the Life Care Center in Kirkland, where there is currently an outbreak. At least 27 firefighters and two police officers are quarantined – some of whom are showing possible COVID-19 symptoms – after responding to reports of patients falling ill at the nursing home.

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