LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday that Amazon has his OK to reopen a Shepherdsville, Kentucky, e-commerce warehouse on Wednesday, saying he is confident the facility’s eight-day closure will have sufficiently reduced the risk of spreading the coronavirus that three warehouse employees contracted.
“It’s given us a chance to try to follow up on those who have tested positive, to trace their contacts,” Beshear said during his daily news conference in Frankfort. “… So yes, they would have my blessing on reopening on that date. I understand that there are those that might be going to work there that don’t think that they should, and that’s a decision that folks are going to have to make.”
Amazon notified employees on March 23 that three employees at the facility, called SDF-9, had tested positive for COVID-19. Initially Amazon said the facility would be closed for only 48 hours.
But Beshear said he requested – Amazon would describe it as an “order” – that the company not reopen the warehouse until April 1.
Amazon told employees in phone messages and texts last week that the facility would be closed until April 1, though the company seemed to leave the door open to restarting later.
An Amazon spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“When we ask these companies to take these steps, and they fall under our (executive) orders of being able to stay open — when they’ve done that period of time where we think we’ve gotten a head start — then, yes, we have to support the reopening, as well,” Beshear said Monday.
SDF-9 handles primarily returns and is co-located with another Amazon warehouse, SDF-4, which has remained open although employees told WDRB the two facilities often share workers.
Amazon has said it would pay SDF-9 workers for their missed shifts.