Amazon’s actions to help customers, communities, and employees affected by COVID-19
Our teams worldwide are working around the clock to ensure we continue to provide our essential services during this most critical time. Below is a list of regularly updated information on what we’re doing to support our employees, partners, customers, and communities.
Serving our customers
We believe our role serving customers and the community during this time is a critical one, and we want to make sure people can get the items they need, when they need them.
As COVID-19 has spread, we've recently seen an increase in people shopping online. In the short term, this is having an impact on how we serve our customers. In particular, you will notice that we are currently out of stock on some popular brands and items, especially in household staples categories. You will also notice that some of our delivery promises are longer than usual. We are working around the clock with our selling partners to ensure availability on all of our products, and bring on additional capacity to deliver all of your orders.
We’re also working to ensure that no one artificially raises prices on basic need products during this pandemic and have blocked or removed tens of thousands of items, in line with our long-standing policy. We actively monitor our store and remove offers that violate our policy.
Empowering our customers
In addition to serving our retail customers, we’re making sure Amazon Web Services customers have the tools and support they need to keep their businesses and organizations moving forward safely and efficiently.
We are launching the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative—a program to support customers who are working to bring better, more accurate, diagnostics solutions to market faster and promote better collaboration across organizations that are working on similar problems. As part of this, we are committing an initial investment of US$20 million to accelerate diagnostic research, innovation, and development to speed our collective understanding and detection of COVID-19 and other innovate diagnostic solutions to mitigate future infectious disease outbreaks. Funding will be provided through a combination of AWS in-kind credits and technical support to assist our customers’ research teams in harnessing the full potential of the cloud to tackle this challenge. The AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative begins with participation from 35 global research institutions, startups, and businesses focused on tackling this challenge.
AWS Public Sector Partners address COVID-19 challenges around the world Public 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.
Caring for our employees
Jeff 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.
In light of ongoing international COVID-19 developments, we are extending Amazon’s guidance globally, except for mainland China. All corporate office employees who work in a role that can be done from home are recommended to do so through April 24 2020.
Every team is different and not all jobs are conducive to working from home. Employees and partners whose work requires their physical presence in their workplace, have access to all of their usual paid and unpaid time-off benefits.
All Amazon employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine will receive up to two weeks of pay. This pay while away from work is to ensure employees have the time they need to return to good health without the worry of lost income.
We have established the Amazon Relief Fund with a $25 million USD initial contribution focused on supporting our Amazon Flex participants and agency associates at our Fulfilment Centres and Delivery Stations under financial distress during this challenging time. We will be offering all of these groups the ability to apply for a grant if diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine by the government or Amazon.
Additionally, in the future, this fund will support our employees and contractors around the world who face financial hardships from other qualifying events, such as a natural disaster, federally declared emergency, or unforeseen personal hardship. Applicants can apply and receive a personal grant from the fund.
We've cancelled large events, and changed the majority of our job interviews to virtual interviews rather than in-person interviews, which often require travel. At the same time, we increased our cleaning of all facilities globally, including regular sanitisation of all door handles, stairway handrails, lift buttons, lockers, and touch screens.
A message from Dave Clark, Senior Vice President Amazon World Wide Operations: Thank You Amazon Heroes
To all of our Amazon heroes on the floor or behind the wheel—thank you.
Supporting our community
We are working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) to accelerate the effort to track the virus, understand its outbreak, and to better contain its spread. AWS is supplying WHO with advanced cloud technologies and supporting them with technical expertise. This ranges from building vast "data lakes" aggregating epidemiological country data, to rapidly translating medical training videos into different languages and helping global healthcare workers to better treat patients.
We are continuing to pay all hourly staff who work for the service providers that support our offices around the world—from food-service workers to security guards to janitorial staff.
We’ve also reached out to, and are helping, our communities around the globe. In China, for example, we leveraged our fulfilment network to donate millions of items—such as medical isolation suits, protective masks, disposable gloves, and other medical supplies—to healthcare professionals in affected cities.
You can get the latest information about Amazon’s response to COVID-19 by bookmarking this page, and by following @AmazonNews on Twitter.