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Coronavirus: Truck drivers advised to stay home if feeling sick

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Retailer giant, Amazon, has advised truck drivers in its vast transportation network to stay home if feeling sick. This, as they shared information on how to navigate coronavirus on the road, Business Insider has reported.

Amazon emailed the trucking companies who are part of their transportation network of 20,000 tractors and 7,000 trailers on March 3 requesting that trucking companies advise their employees to stay home if feeling sick until they’ve been fever-free for at least 24 hours.

Truckers were advised to frequently wash their hands and to regularly disinfect steering wheels and other often-touched parts of the truck.

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“Amazon is closely watching the global coronavirus (COVID-19) developments,” the email from Amazon’s transportation team reads.

“Our focus is on the health and safety of our delivery service partners, drivers, associates, and customers. As this situation continues to evolve please continue to check for emails and further information from your TEM.”

Read also: Do this, if you think you may have contracted the coronavirus

The email concludes, after noting several common preventative measures for coronavirus, “If you learn that you or one of your drivers has had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient, please notify your carrier manager immediately.”

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Amazon contacted companies a day after Business Insider reported that company and contract truck drivers for the retail giant, as well as company drivers at Walmart, had not received information on how to navigate coronavirus on the road.

Days before, Amazon told all of its 798,000 employees to halt “non-essential travel” in the US and internationally amid the coronavirus outbreak – something truck drivers can’t exactly do.

Trucking companies withholding information

And while Amazon did email the offices of its trucking companies, some truck drivers who work for those companies claimed that their employers did not pass that information along to them.

“Our company hasn’t given any guidance on what we should do and neither has Amazon,” one truck driver, who asked to have their identity withheld for fear of retribution, told Business Insider.

Good News: Court orders trucking company to remove driver-facing cameras

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“So, for now, we’re just carrying around a huge bottle of hand sanitiser and washing our hands with soap and water when we get the chance.”

Meanwhile, there was confusion among truck drivers on the items they’re handling, many of which are manufactured abroad. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though, claims the risk is low.

“Because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures,” according to the CDC’s website.

As of March 4, there are more than 95,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide. More than 3,200 have died, including 11 in the US.

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