Since the onset of the global pandemic, Amazon’s number one priority has been the health and safety of employees, and our internal COVID-19 testing program is just one of over 150 safety measures introduced to help keep our people safe. Our COVID-19 testing initiative included building state-of-the-art testing labs in Kentucky, US and Manchester, UK, to provide supplemental testing capacity, complementing the governments’ testing efforts. The in-house testing program first launched in the US, but soon after expanded to the UK in September 2020, then quickly followed by Ireland, Germany, Poland and Spain. Dedicated local testing is also available for Italian employees.
Today, voluntary COVID-19 testing is available at all Amazon operational sites in the UK and Ireland as well as over a thousand sites globally. The Manchester lab has processed more than 900,000 tests so far. Amazon will continue to invest, evolve our procedures and collaborate with others as we’ve done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most recently, the rise of COVID-19 variants has added another element of complexity in the fight against the spread of the virus. The UK has subsequently become a leader in variant analysis, allowing scientists to adapt testing strategies based on the detection of a particular variant. This innovation is aiding the government’s efforts to track and implement the most appropriate transmission response based on a specific variant.
For this reason, Amazon is now investing in variant analysis to help support health authorities in fighting the virus.
Similar to the benefits of regularly testing asymptomatic individuals, to help slow the spread of the virus, investing in variant analysis of the positive samples of our front-line workforce enables us to detect early viral trends, and support broader community efforts to help slow the spread of new variants. We’ll continue to support the UK health authorities as they work to control the spread of COVID-19 variants.
About the author
Leading Amazon’s UK lab, and the variant testing efforts, is Dr. Luke Meredith – the Lab Director managing the operations team at our lab in Manchester. Dr. Meredith has over 20 years of experience in molecular virology, with six years of experience specifically in laboratory aspects of public health outbreak response and preparedness. He has held a variety of positions with the World Health Organization and University of Cambridge, working on the South Sudan Ebola Preparedness and Response, COVID-19 Preparedness and Response, Yellow Fever Response and more. Dr. Meredith received his Ph.D in Molecular Virology from Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Australia.
Find out more about Amazon's actions to help employees, communities, and customers affected by COVID-19.