Amazon’s new COVID-19 testing lab in Kentucky has processed more than one million COVID-19 tests for front-line employees from more than 700 testing sites, making it a leader in employer-driven COVID-19 testing. Amazon built the lab last year in response to the pandemic to help ensure the health and safety of front-line employees by providing them with regular, reliable access to testing.
In April 2020, Amazon began assembling a team with a variety of skills—from research scientists and program managers to procurement specialists and software engineers—and moved them from their day jobs to focus on creating a scalable COVID-19 testing program. The initiative included building a state-of-the-art testing lab in a matter of months. Soon after launching, the lab was processing thousands of tests per day and continuing to build incremental capacity. By October 2020, the lab was testing more than 700 employees an hour, and then achieved the milestone of processing one million tests in January 2021.
“Our team came together with a mission to rapidly build an in-house COVID-19 testing lab because we knew it was a final step, on top of all our onsite COVID-19 precautions, to ensure the health and safety of our front-line employees,” said Cem Sibay, Vice President, Amazon. “We built this lab to scale so that we can offer regular testing to all Amazon front-line employees. Over 500,000 employees have already been voluntarily tested and we are continuing to expand to over a thousand COVID-19 testing sites globally.”
Amazon is proud of the role that front-line employees have played during this pandemic to help customers stay safe while they receive important products at home, which is critical for people with underlying medical conditions and those susceptible to complications from COVID-19. And until the country has widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines, high-volume testing capacity will continue to be needed in order to slow the spread of the virus.
As vaccines become available, Amazon stands ready to assist government and public health officials to help ensure our front-line employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the earliest appropriate time. In a recent letter to President Biden’s administration, Amazon offered assistance in widespread vaccination efforts as part of our commitment to protecting employees and continuing to provide essential services during the pandemic.
Amazon’s number one priority is the health and safety of employees—and has been since day one. We will continue to invest, evolve our procedures and collaborate with others as we’ve done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.