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Amazon’s Covid Dilemma: Mandate Vaccinations and Risk Losing Workers

The company has many virus skeptics in its warehouse ranks and needs to retain employees amid a tight labor market.

An Amazon fulfillment center in Goodyear, Arizona.
Photographer: Joshua Lott/Bloomberg

While much of Corporate America scrambled to adjust Covid-19 policies this summer in response to a surge of cases, Amazon.com Inc. was dismantling its coronavirus testing sites. Sequestered corners of warehouses and conference rooms where, just a few weeks ago employees were performing nasal swabs, are now blocked off or cleared of equipment.

This may seem counterintuitive as the delta variant rips through many of the states where Amazon has warehouses. But the company says employees have plenty of other ways to get tested. Amazon, employees say, has been loath to make the tests compulsory for fear of alienating the Covid skeptics in its ranks. The same has held true for forcing workers to get vaccinated.