Amazon sends notifications of new Covid cases to warehouse workers via its internal messaging portal, called A to Z, and works to determine if other employees came into contact with the person who tested positive by reviewing on site camera footage, as well as interviewing workers.
Warehouse and delivery workers have previously criticized Amazon’s contact tracing and case notification protocols, claiming they’re inadequate.
Which is why within two days of Santa Clara County health officials announcing boosters for everyone, Love attempted to make an appointment online at Walgreens.
That landed her on a series of questions based on CDC guidelines. Love says she isn’t 65 or older, doesn’t have an underlying medical condition, doesn’t live in a long-term care facility and isn’t at increased risk due to her work environment. She answered honestly and was deemed ineligible.
Love called Walgreens.
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“They’re like ‘yeah, we don’t care what Santa Clara says we only care what the CDC says we would love to give you the booster but until the CDC says we can we can’t do that,'” said Love.
In an emailed statement, a Walgreens Spokesperson tells ABC7 News quote, “Walgreens will administer a booster dose of Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to patients who attest to meeting State and/or Federal requirements.”
It’s not just Walgreens. When scheduling a booster on CVS’ website, in small print it says by scheduling you meet CDC booster eligibility guidelines and are confirming the guidelines apply to you.
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In an emailed statement, a CVS Spokesperson tells ABC7 News, “We understand that some states may expand the criteria for COVID-19 boosters, but our participation in the Federal Pharmacy Program requires us to follow recommendations from the FDA and CDC.”
So what did Santa Clara County health officials mean when they said this last week — “Nobody will be turned away who wants a booster.”
That came from Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, Santa Clara County’s COVID-19 Vaccine Officer.
ABC7 News asked Dr. Fenstersheib Monday.
“To be perfectly clear, nobody who wants a booster will be turned away from any of the county operated sites here in Santa Clara County,” said Dr. Fenstersheib.
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With their ornate architecture and rich cultures, the Czech Republic and Hungary have been two of the darlings of Central European travel ever since the fall of the Iron Curtain in the late 20th century.
Iceland — land of glaciers, geysers and volcanoes — is a big draw among outdoor adventurists. And little charming Guernsey is a self-governing British Crown dependency in the English Channel not far from the coast of France.
Destinations that fall into the CDC’s “Covid-19 Very High” Level 4 category have had more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.
People should avoid traveling to locations designated with a “Level 4” notice, the CDC recommends. Anyone who must travel should be fully vaccinated first, the agency advises.
Previously, all four destinations had been listed in the Level 3 category of “Covid-19 High” risk. By moving to Level 4, they join the ranks of other travel favorites in Europe and elsewhere. They include:
The company has agreed to notify warehouse workers within one day of new Covid cases, as well as provide the exact number of cases in their workplace, California State Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement. Amazon employs tens of thousands of warehouse workers in the state, he added.
Under the agreement, which is still subject to court approval, Amazon will also notify local health agencies within 48 hours of new Covid cases and pay $500,000 toward additional enforcement of California consumer protection laws, Bonta said.
Amazon spokesperson Barbara Agrait said there’s no change to, nor allegations of any problems with, the company’s protocols related to notifying employees who may have been exposed to Covid.
“We’re glad to have this resolved and to see that the AG found no substantive issues with the safety measures in our buildings,” Agrait said in a statement.
The settlement comes after California in January enacted stricter Covid workplace regulations as part of Assembly Bill 685, or the “right-to-know” law. The regulations require businesses to report Covid cases to workers within one business day, among other stipulations.
Throughout the pandemic, Bonta said Amazon inadequately notified warehouse workers and local health agencies of Covid case numbers, “often leaving them in the dark and unable to effectively track the spread of the virus.”
Last year, then-California Attorney General Xavier Becerra opened a probe into Amazon’s treatment of warehouse workers during the pandemic.
California’s division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration also fined Amazon last October for coronavirus safety violations at two warehouses in the state. At one site, Amazon didn’t notify contracted delivery drivers of confirmed cases, the citation said.
Amazon said at the time that it believed its coronavirus safety measures were “more than adequate.”
Dr. Fentersheib says Santa Clara County has a more liberal interpretation of CDC guidelines than private retailers.
Love, her husband and two of her three children who are 18 or older are now scheduled to get their boosters from the county on Sunday.
“Yay, I can’t wait,” said Love.
Santa Clara County health officials say anyone in the county who wants a booster will not be turned away if they make their appointment at a county operated site in Santa Clara County here.