Amazon's COVID-19 blog: daily updates on how we're responding to the crisis
1. What we are doing for employees
- Our top concern is ensuring the health and safety of our employees, and we expect to invest approximately $4 billion from April to June on COVID-related initiatives getting products to customers and keeping employees safe. This includes spending more than $800 million in the first half of the year on COVID-19 safety measures.
- We've made over 150 process updates—from enhanced cleaning and social distancing measures to new efforts like disinfectant spraying.
- We've distributed personal protective gear, such as masks for our employees, and implemented disinfectant spraying and temperature checks across our operations worldwide.
- Someone diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive up to two weeks of paid time off—this is in addition to their other paid and unpaid time off options.
- We're working on building scalable testing for coronavirus.
- Amazon employees receive comprehensive health benefits starting on day one of employment.
- We increased pay for hourly employees by $2 per hour in the U.S., C$2 per hour in Canada, and €2 per hour in many EU countries.
- We doubled the regular hourly base pay for every overtime hour worked and are offering extra time off with full pay for those diagnosed with COVID-19.
- We established a $25 million relief fund for partners (e.g. delivery drivers) and seasonal associates facing financial hardship or quarantine.
2. What we are doing for customers
- We're providing free masks to all Whole Foods Market customers nationwide.
- We are increasing capacity for grocery delivery from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market as quickly as possible.
- We enhanced cleaning at all Whole Foods Market stores and now open one hour early for customers who are 60+ years old in the U.S. (70+ years old in the UK).
- We're reserving the first hour of grocery pickup at Whole Foods Market stores nationwide for customers 60 years and older, those with disabilities, and those whom the CDC defines as high risk.
- Customers ordering delivery from Prime Now, Amazon Fresh, and Whole Foods Market can select "unattended delivery" during checkout.
- We're focusing on high-priority items to ensure the fastest delivery of household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers.
- We're vigorously combating price gouging to help protect customers, help ensure fair pricing, and combat those seeking to profit off the COVID-19 crisis.
- Our Amazon and Alexa devices help keep customers stay connected and informed.
3. What we are doing for communities around the globe
- We launched the $20 million AWS Diagnostic Initiative to accelerate COVID-19 research.
- In Europe, we committed €21 million (almost $23 million USD) to support those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Amazon CEO and Founder Jeff Bezos donated $100 million to Feeding America.
- We've hired 175,000 additional full- and part-time employees.
- We’re working with foodbanks in 25 cities across the country to deliver 6 million meals to underserved and vulnerable populations.
- We’re donating $5 million in Amazon devices globally to those in need.
- We're donating 8,200 laptops to Seattle Public Schools students who do not have access to a device at home.
- Through our Amazon Future Engineer program, we're donating 4,000 laptops to high school students across the U.S. and making new online computer science resources, including exam prep, free.
Continue checking here for updates about how we're supporting our employees, helping customers, aiding community relief, and furthering research during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amazon Web Services powers new effort from Airbnb to keep people connected
With Airbnb suspending in-person Experiences in light of COVID‑19, the company looked for ways to help its hosts continue to generate income, while also allowing guests to learn a new skill, safely connect with others, or pursue interests. The company leveraged AWS to create Airbnb Online Experiences, offering an array of activities like meditation with Buddhist monks, family-oriented magic lessons, and team-bonding activities like making coffee with a professional coffee taster. Airbnb has also partnered with local organizations around the world to develop Experiences to help those in isolation, such as older adults, learn a new skill free of charge.
Amazon Web Services helps mobilize COVID‑19 volunteers
Thousands of food pantries, shelters, employment agencies, and nonprofits are currently experiencing volunteer shortages, and social impact company VOMO has made its volunteer management platform, which is powered by AWS, free to any organization mobilizing volunteers during the COVID‑19 crisis. With VOMO’s volunteer mobilization and management technology, organizations can coordinate volunteering efforts and issue calls for assistance to a national volunteer registry. To date, more than 1,000 new organizations have joined the VOMO network during the pandemic, and AWS provided increased computational capacity to help scale and manage the surge in demand. Read more here.
Amazon Web Services helps clinics store patient data and manage volunteers
The Spark Team, a nonprofit that provides software to support humanitarian events, is using AWS to help free medical clinics store patient data and manage volunteer sign-ups for COVID‑19 test sites. The Spark Team’s volunteer management software has helped Remote Area Medical (RAM), a major nonprofit provider of free pop-up clinics, staff COVID‑19 testing sites across the country where thousands of tests are being administered. RAM volunteers have logged more than 3,100 hours of service at these sites so far. To further support counties, states, hospitals, and other groups, the Spark Team is currently offering free use of their systems to help with testing sites. AWS is also helping accelerate COVID-19 research, diagnostics, and testing. Learn more.
Amazon Web Services helps UK charities process hundreds of donations a second
UK-based charities Comic Relief and BBC Children in Need worked with broadcaster BBC One to host “The Big Night In” to raise money for individuals affected by COVID‑19 and to highlight doctors and nurses on the front lines. With support from AWS, Comic Relief’s existing website, as well as its donation and business analytics systems, were able to quickly scale to process more than 350 donations per second. The three-hour event resulted in more than 700,000 donations that raised £27.4 million. The UK government has pledged to double that amount. AWS also provided Comic Relief with credits and remote technical support throughout the fundraising event. Find out more about how AWS is supporting governments, businesses, and nonprofits during the pandemic.
Meeting the Moment: a new series takes viewers behind the scenes to meet Amazon employees
Watch the first four episodes.
Will COVID-19 change the face of women entrepreneurship?
E-commerce could bring new opportunities for women entrepreneurs hoping to enter the economy in India, where women own just 10 percent of businesses. Read more from Shalini Puchalapalli, Amazon India’s Director of New Initiatives.
Meet an Amazon employee who inspires her peers while promoting safety
Brandy Bowers, a trainer in the learning department at Amazon’s fulfillment center in North East, Maryland, is working to inspire smiles while promoting safety among her colleagues during the stress of the pandemic. Each night, when she returns home, Brandy crochets hearts for her team and associates at the fulfillment center. Over the past few weeks, she’s crocheted more than 300 hearts in green yarn to signify the official American National Standards Institute color for safety, serving as a reminder that we’re stronger together. Meet more Amazon operations employees.
Amazon Web Services powers repository of images for COVID-19 research
AWS is powering the COVID Digital Pathology Repository (COVID-DPR), an online repository of whole slide images of COVID-19-related samples that enables international collaboration in the research community. COVID-DPR provides a centralized, cloud-based source for digital images of lung, liver, kidney, and heart tissues from patients infected with COVID19, as well as the closely related viruses SARs and MERs. The images, scientific notes, and metadata will be used as reference data for education, research, and future clinical trials. COVID-DPR is part of a joint collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, Octo Consulting Group, and others. More details.
A new shelter for homeless families opens on Amazon's campus amid the COVID‑19 crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting lives around the world, and families fighting homelessness are at particularly high risk with no safe space to call home. Mary's Place, a Seattle-based nonprofit that provides shelter and services for women, children, and families, is supporting many people during this uncertain time. Read more and see photos of the new Mary’s Place center that’s opened inside one of Amazon’s corporate offices. “While I’ve long been excited for the new Mary’s Place Family Center in The Regrade in the heart of Amazon’s Seattle campus to open, I never could have imagined the shelter would open at such a critical time,” said John Schoettler, Amazon Vice President of Global Real Estate and Facilities.
Zoom grows on Amazon Web Services to help people stay connected
Zoom, a provider of business video and audio conferencing that runs primarily on AWS, is offering universal free access to its core conferencing technology for calls of up to 40 minutes and 100 participants. Zoom helps people around the world keep up with business, education, and social meetings as they stay safe at home. Zoom also provides teachers, administrators, and students with the resources they need to quickly spin up virtual classrooms, participate in online classes, and continue their education online. Find out more about how AWS is helping their customers scale during the COVID‑19 pandemic.
How front-line organizations are using Amazon donated devices amid the pandemic
Over the past several weeks, we have provided $5 million in Amazon Devices to hospitals, schools, and community organizations around the globe to help those impacted by COVID-19. One example is Saint Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey which provided patients with Fire 7 tablets. In their words, “Your donations will allow countless children, parents, siblings, friends, and loved ones to comfort and unfortunately in most cases say goodbye to patients who are otherwise isolated. You have indelibly affected and will continue to affect the lives of so many patients, staff, and families. I’m proud to be an Amazon customer and will forever be grateful for your contribution in helping our communities." Read more.
Amazon Music live stream with John Legend will benefit COVID‑19 relief efforts
Multi-platinum singer-songwriter and EGOT winner John Legend will take over Amazon Music's Friday live performance series, a new program featuring stripped-down sets and intimate conversations with artists. John will answer questions from fans and perform new tracks from his forthcoming album, including "Bigger Love" and "Conversations in the Dark." During the live stream viewers can learn more about the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. The Amazon Music series begins at 10 a.m. PT Friday, May 22, on Amazon.com/live.
Amazon Web Services supports MedStar Health’s COVID‑19 telehealth response
MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in the Maryland and D.C. region, quickly scaled telehealth solutions amid the pandemic with support from AWS. A month after the outbreak started, MedStar Health providers were delivering an average of 3,500+ outpatient telehealth sessions every weekday. MedStar Health also launched two call centers—one for providers and one for patients waiting on COVID‑19 lab results—in less than a week using Amazon Connect, an AWS solution that helps customers deploy cloud-based call centers. Read about other ways AWS is keeping organizations running during the pandemic.
See our latest TV commercial about keeping Amazon employees safe
Amazon Business delivers 100 million critical supplies to healthcare and government organizations at cost
Throughout the COVID‑19 pandemic, the demand for health and safety products has outpaced supply. That’s why Amazon Business created COVID‑19 Supplies, a program offering organizations with the most urgent need—like hospitals and senior living facilities—critical products to fight the pandemic at cost. More than 13,000 healthcare providers and 7,000 government organizations have used COVID‑19 Supplies since it launched in the U.S. on March 31, and the program has expanded to Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, and India. Read more.
Amazon Web Services expands Rhode Island’s capacity to process unemployment applications
Rhode Island’s unemployment insurance applications surged 10 times the volume the state’s legacy computer system could handle. With AWS support, the Department of Labor and Training’s website has been able to efficiently process more than 132,000 claims in six weeks. AWS also collaborated with Research Improving People’s Lives, a nonprofit that uses data to inform policymaker decisions, to develop an online application portal that helps the state to verify applicants’ eligibility for benefits and expedite payments. This has enabled Rhode Island to become one of the first states to process Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims.
"Amazon Wants to Innovate Its Way Out of the Pandemic"
Bloomberg posted this technology story today about how Amazon is building its own testing lab, backing an immunology study, and considering automation to make its fulfillment centers safer.
Helping educators close the digital divide for students in Oakland, California
Amazon donated $100,000 to support the Oakland Unified School District and the City of Oakland’s mission to close the digital divide for students from underserved communities. Amazon’s donation will help 200 Oakland Public Schools students receive the tools they need (such as laptops and internet connectivity) to continue their education from home amid the COVID‑19 pandemic. Amazon is also supporting at-home learning through Amazon Future Engineer and AWS Educate.
Amazon Web Services helps Propel deliver technology for those in need
Propel, a company focused on building software to help low-income Americans improve their financial health, has developed the Fresh Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) app. Powered by AWS, Fresh EBT has helped more than 3 million individuals per month manage their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, save with coupons, and find jobs through the app. Find out how AWS is supporting other companies, governments, and nonprofits during the COVID‑19 pandemic.
Supporting communities in need throughout Massachusetts
Amazon donated $100,000 to the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund. Amazon’s donation will help support dozens of Massachusetts-based nonprofits that serve communities disproportionately impacted by COVID‑19. In addition, long-time nonprofit partner St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, located in the Boston-area, will use part a 2018 $1 million match donation from Amazon to deliver essential services to mothers and children fighting homelessness amid the pandemic. Amazon has created more than 4,000 full-time jobs across Massachusetts.
Amazon Web Services powers COVID‑19 research with Michigan State University
AWS collaborated with Michigan State University to develop a public website that hosts, shares, and tracks the latest clinical research on convalescent plasma (blood characteristics from individuals who have recovered from COVID‑19). AWS deployed the website in one day, allowing thousands of medical professionals to connect with other clinicians to share their latest findings on the use of convalescent plasma as a treatment for COVID‑19 patients.
Military experience and Amazon skills help stand up COVID‑19 test sites in Florida
Since the beginning of the COVID‑19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of Amazonians have been proudly serving their communities, but few are quite like Evan Cartwright. He’s an operations manager at an Amazon fulfillment center outside of Tampa, and also serves in the Florida Army National Guard. Cartwright’s unit was activated to help establish a testing center in Orlando. For three weeks Cartwright, a First Lieutenant in the 3-265th Air Defense Artillery Battalion, used the logistics skills he developed at Amazon to keep critical supplies flowing to the testing site. On this Armed Forces Day 2020, read his story.
Using the cloud to study COVID‑19 genomes
Amazon Web Services is supporting the University of California, San Francisco Bakar Computational Health Sciences Institute on two genome sequencing projects. The goal of the projects is to better understand different COVID‑19 strains to diagnose and treat the virus. AWS provided technical support and donated service credits through the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative to advance this work.
Amazon donations help families in need care for their pets
Since March 2, 2020, Amazon’s Baltimore fulfillment centers have donated more than 4,000 items, including 6,500 pounds of pet food to the Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MDSPCA), supporting 500 pets during the pandemic. "We have a program at the MDSPCA called Kibble Connection that helps families in need feed and care for their pets,” said Kelly Anderson, MDSPCA animal care manager. "Not only does this help relieve the financial burden sometimes put on people during times of hardship, but ultimately keeps pets in home with the families that love them. There is no way we would be able to accomplish our mission without you [Amazon]!"
"Alexa, remind me to cheer at 8pm"
Now, you can ask Alexa to set a reminder to cheer for frontline workers in your area at 8pm every evening. Plus, it's now easier than ever to discover free movies, TV shows, news and more with the new "free" tab at the top navigation of the Fire TV menu.
Prime Video streams a PGA charity golf event to raise money for COVID‑19 relief efforts
PGA Tour superstars Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson will tee it up against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff this Sunday to raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts. The event, “TaylorMade Driving Relief,” will be available for free to all Amazon customers in the U.S. More details here.
Delivering meals and donations to vulnerable populations in our HQ communities
Amazon is using its delivery network to support the immediate needs of vulnerable populations in Seattle and the Washington D.C. area. In Seattle, we’re delivering more than 48,000 meals to Seattle Public Schools students and, alongside FareStart, to families residing in Seattle Housing Authority homes. The deliveries to Seattle families will support students who are medically fragile, have disabilities, or who are fighting homelessness. In Washington D.C., we’re donating thousands of needed items, including hygiene and cleaning products, shelf-stable food, and school supplies to nonprofits across the area.
Amazon Studios to provide $1 million to help Los Angeles restaurants feed those in need
Amazon Studios will be providing $1 million to the catering team at the award-winning Jon & Vinny's restaurant group to prepare meals for local charities feeding those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, including No Kid Hungry, Off Their Plate, the Los Angeles Mission, and the Motion Picture & Television Fund. "At Amazon Studios and Prime Video, we're truly honored to be able to show our support to the community that has always supported us, and to team up with Jon and Vinny's to provide food to those who so desperately need it along with a lifeline to local businesses," said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios.
Amazon Fashion partners with Vogue to support independent American designers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
Vogue, Amazon Fashion and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) are launching "Common Threads: Vogue x Amazon Fashion," a dedicated, digital storefront that enables small and medium-sized fashion businesses to reach Amazon’s customer base, and to access its advanced fulfillment network. To provide additional support to the American fashion community, including the pattern makers, the cutters, the tailors, the embroiderers and so many more business and creative employees, Amazon Fashion is providing immediate assistance by donating $500,000 to A Common Thread. Learn more here.
Using Prime Air’s innovation and scale to help protect medical professionals
An idea from 3D printing enthusiasts became a passion project for some Amazon employees during the COVID‑19 pandemic. To date, Amazon has donated nearly 10,000 3D-printed face shields and is on track to deliver 20,000 more in the coming weeks. See what the team is doing.
Helping students within our HQ communities learn from home
We’ve helped purchase and deliver 300 Wi-Fi devices to families with low internet connectivity within the Arlington Public School district to support students learning at home. Amazon employees are also providing technical expertise to Seattle Public Schools students and their families as they navigate remote education during the COVID‑19 pandemic. Learn more.
Extending hourly pay increases through the end of May
We’ve extended the increased hourly pay through May 30. We are also extending double overtime pay in the U.S. and Canada. These extensions increase our total investment in pay during COVID-19 to nearly $800 million for our hourly employees and partners. In addition, we are providing flexibility with leave of absence options, including expanding the policy to cover COVID-19 circumstances, such as high-risk individuals or school closures. We continue to see heavy demand during this difficult time and the team is doing incredible work for our customers and the community. Learn more about our focus on safety, pay, benefits, and job creation.
Amazon calls on Congress to establish a federal price gouging law
As bad actors seek to profit off the COVID-19 crisis, federal legislation is needed to protect consumers. Read the full story from Brian Huseman, Amazon Vice President for Public Policy.
Amazon Music hosts a live stream with Katy Perry to raise awareness for a COVID‑19 relief fund
Amazon Music's new Friday live performance series, bringing stripped-down sets and intimate conversations with superstar artists, returns May 15th with pop icon Katy Perry. The event will raise awareness for the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund which seeks to help those in the music community affected by the pandemic. Viewers will have the option to learn more about efforts to help those in the music community, while watching the stream. Katy will perform new song, "Daisies," for the first time on its release day, as well as "Roar" and "Never Really Over." She'll also answer questions from fans. The live stream begins at 10 a.m. Pacific on Amazon.com/live.
Amazon continues expanding online use of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits
Idaho, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington D.C. are the latest to join a U.S. Department of Agriculture pilot enabling customers to use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to purchase groceries online. Ten states are already a part of the pilot, and we are committed to adding more soon as part of our effort to make food accessible through online shopping.
Thousands of UK children receive free, healthy breakfasts
Thanks to an expanded partnership between Magic Breakfast and Amazon, 375,000 packages of healthy breakfast food are set for delivery around the UK. Watch below, and read more here.
Amazon donates $50,000 to Indiana and Kentucky hunger relief non-profit
In a continuing effort to support foodbanks around the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon has donated $50,000 to the largest hunger relief organization that covers 13 counties in Indiana and Kentucky. The funds will support Dare to Care an organization that partners with 271 local agencies on hunger relief efforts. Amazon’s donation will provide more than 150,000 healthy, nutritious meals.
How Amazon Web Services supports others during the COVID‑19 crisis with its scale, reach, and reliability
Many AWS customers have not only set up the tools and services to keep their own workforces productive, but are also creating ways to help others. They are standing up innovative new services and making their core services available to organizations at discounted rates or no cost at all. Read more than a dozen examples that show how quickly customers and partners have been able to leverage the cloud to adapt to this new environment.
Making it easier to support small businesses selling handcrafted goods
Amazon Handmade, our store for artisans selling handcrafted products, has launched a new shop to help connect customers with local small businesses facing disruption amid the COVID‑19 pandemic. The new shop features artisans from across six regions of the U.S. Read more about the new storefront and artisans from across the country.
Amazon donates more devices to hospitals around the world
- Kyoto University Hospital in Japan received Fire 7 tablets.
- National Cancer Center Hospital East in Japan received Fire 7 tablets.
- An Amazon Gift Card donation helped Tallaght University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, enhance the technology in patient rooms, ICU and nurses’ stations.
- Central and North West London NHS Trust received Fire HB 8 tablets.
Read more about Amazon’s $5 million donation of devices globally to help healthcare workers, patients, students, and communities impacted by COVID‑19.
Amazon Future Engineer provides weekly coding contests for students
Our program to offer childhood to career computer science opportunities, Amazon Future Engineer, is hosting coding competitions for students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students in grades 6-12 can use code to remix songs provided by Grammy Award winning artists Ciara and Common through Georgia Tech's EarSketch program. Each week, the winning student who produces the winning remix will win an Amazon gift card. To participate, click here.
Meet Amazon moms (Happy Mother’s Day!) and other employees who are helping fulfill customer orders
Being a working mom is hard. Being a working mom with six children is harder. Dallas Austin somehow brings unwavering positivity to the challenge of being a working mom during a global pandemic. “I’m proud to be working right now,” she said. “I know others, especially high-risk individuals, are counting on us to deliver items they need so they don’t have to leave their homes.”
What has changed inside Amazon fulfillment centers due to the COVID‑19 pandemic?
Find out from Maria Lopez, an Amazon employee (and mother of five).
Amazon Web Services helps Kentucky scale its unemployment call centers
Prior to COVID‑19, a handful of agents staffed the State of Kentucky’s unemployment call center using technology that required them to work from state offices. Using Amazon Connect, the Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance set-up a cloud based call center in one afternoon and trained its agents in just 30 minutes, so they could work from home. The state then used Amazon Connect to build a statewide call center to manage about 200,000 daily calls fielded by more than 1,000 call center agents.
New Alexa features to stay connected and focused
Use group Drop In to instantly connect all of your Echo devices into a group conversation, simply say "Alexa, drop in on all devices." Plus, you can now react to photos shared with you by your Alexa contacts with animated emojis, and a new "Focus Time" routine helps you keep your work or study session on track. Read more about how Alexa and Amazon devices can keep you connected and focused.
Amazon Web Services helps expedite funding for COVID‑19 research
AWS is powering Fast Grants, a research funding mechanism to rapidly deploy grants to expedite COVID‑19 research. Fast Grants was designed to make funding decisions in under 48 hours. The global program focuses on supporting researchers who are working on projects that could help with the pandemic within the next six months. Read about other ways AWS is seeking solutions during the COVID‑19 crisis.
Amazon Original Series Regular Heroes shows courage amid COVID-19 from across the U.S.
A hospital worker. A grocery store owner. A woman fighting homelessness in her community. These are a few of the stories featured in a new Amazon Original docuseries called Regular Heroes. The eight-episode docuseries shines the spotlight on those helping to support their community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Regular Heroes will premiere on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S., UK, Canada, and Australia on Friday, May 8, and in other territories on May 12. Learn more about the series and the heroes it features.
Amazon donates 1,550 tablets and laptops to the American Indian College Fund
The American Indian College Fund is a nonprofit committed to supporting thousands of Native American students and nearly 40 tribal colleges across the U.S. Amazon is donating 1,000 Fire HD 8 tablets and 550 laptops to the nonprofit, which will distribute the devices to students and faculty who otherwise would not have access to technology while schools are closed during the COVID‑19 pandemic.
Amazon Music hosting live stream with Tim McGraw to benefit COVID-19 relief funds
Amazon Music and Amazon Live have partnered with multi-GRAMMY award-winning country music icon Tim McGraw on a live stream to bring awareness to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. During the stream, which will take place Friday, May 8, McGraw will perform and answer questions for fans, who have the option to learn more about relief efforts while watching. This is the first stream in a new series from Amazon Music that will feature different artists and benefit various charities. This Friday’s live stream, and future episodes, will be available to stream in the U.S. at 10 a.m. PT on Fridays by visiting Amazon.com/live.
Amazon is helping the nation’s second largest school district with online learning
We’re helping Los Angeles Unified, home to more than 700,000 students, with remote learning amid COVID-19. Amazon, Amazon Business, and Amazon Web Services are supporting parents, students, and faculty by standing up contact centers and delivering school-issued devices to tens of thousands of students so they can learn at home. Here’s how.
Amazon donations continue with $100,000 to support Ohio foodbanks
We are donating $100,000 to organizations working to relieve hunger across Ohio amid COVID‑19. This donation includes $50,000 to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank to support its COVID‑19 Emergency Response Fund and $50,000 to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. This follows an announcement that Amazon is creating more than 11,000 jobs in Ohio to support those impacted by layoffs related to the pandemic.
Amazon partners with Homeland Security Investigations to protect consumers from fraud
"Since the beginning of the COVID‑19 crisis, Amazon has proactively stopped more than 6.5 million products with inaccurate claims, removed over 1 million offers for suspected price gouging, suspended more than 10,000 selling accounts for suspected price gouging and referred the most egregious offenders to federal and state law enforcement across the country. Amazon welcomes HSI’s partnership in holding counterfeiters and bad actors accountable, and we look forward to building on our long-standing relationship to protect customers and ensure a trusted shopping experience," said Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon vice president, customer trust and partner support. More details.
Small businesses step up to help customers and communities during the COVID‑19 pandemic
Third-party sellers, small- and medium-sized businesses that sell products through Amazon, have remained committed to supporting customers and communities throughout the pandemic. From donating essential supplies to producing much-needed items like hand sanitizer, businesses selling through Amazon are supporting communities around the globe. Read more about their efforts.
Amazon funds 1.2 million meals in Florida and Chicago-area
We’ve made donations to many organizations to support food assistance programs during the COVID‑19 pandemic. The latest donations include $100,000 to Feeding Florida, a state-wide foodbank network, and $200,000 to the Greater Chicago Food Depositary, a foodbank for in the Chicago area. Amazon’s support will provide 600,000 meals in Florida and 600,000 meals in the Chicago area for those in need.
Amazon donates to COVID‑19 charity efforts when customers shop on AmazonSmile
AmazonSmile is a way to support important causes this Giving Tuesday, and every day throughout the year. Through the AmazonSmile program, Amazon has donated more than $180 million to hundreds of thousands of charities worldwide so they can expand their meaningful work. When you start your shopping at smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate a percentage of the purchase price of eligible products to a charity of your choice. You can also visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate needed items directly to charitable organizations of your choice. AmazonSmile has more than one million charities to choose from including Feeding America, Save the Children and Meals on Wheels America, and more, that are helping with COVID‑19 response.
Meet an Amazon driver lending a hand to the Houston community
Amazon fulfillment centers in the Northeast U.S. support local communities
An Amazon fulfillment center in Northern Pennsylvania donated $100,000 to the Commission on Economic Opportunity to support local food banks during the COVID‑19 crisis. The funds will provide an estimated 286,000 pounds of food, including fresh produce and wholesale non-perishable food items, and provide assistance to an estimated 20,000 individuals. In addition, a Massachusetts fulfillment center has donated 15,000 boxes to help the Greater Boston food bank deliver meals to those in need.
Words of gratitude amid the COVID‑19 pandemic
People around the world send messages of thanks to Amazon employees who are shipping and delivering much-needed items during this crisis. “I am high risk and have been very anxious whenever my husband has to go out for weekly shopping. A big thank you to all the people at Amazon helping us through this,” a UK customer wrote. Read more here.
Amazon Web Services helps Chan Zuckerberg Biohub estimate unreported COVID‑19 infections
AWS is supporting an effort from Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, a non-profit furthering research to manage diseases, to estimate unreported COVID‑19 cases. This collaboration is a part of the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative, a global program to support organizations working to bring better, more accurate, diagnostics solutions to market faster. Read more about the AWS initiative, and how AWS is seeking solutions during the pandemic.
Meet an employee responsible for training others in an Amazon fulfillment center
With 175,000 new people hired at Amazon since the start of the pandemic, Jerome Lewis is finding even deeper meaning in his work. "Teaching new hires is always rewarding, no matter the circumstance. However, it's incomparable to now," said Lewis, a learning manager at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Tracy, California. "A lot of the current new hires had jobs and careers two months ago and now have to make ends meet. My job is to ensure that they can be successful here. I take pride in that." Read more.
Watch 5-year old Jameson deliver smiles in his very own Prime truck
"Alexa, play Some Good News"
Need some positive energy? You can now watch new episodes of Some Good News with John Krasinski, a video series focused on positive stories from around the world, directly from your Echo device. Just say, "Alexa, play Some Good News." Read more about how Alexa and Amazon Devices can keep you informed and entertained.
Amazon Web Services supports COVID‑19 data resource to accelerate research
AWS has teamed up with C3.ai, a leading artificial intelligence software provider, to accelerate research efforts to fight the spread of COVID‑19. C3.ai has built a data lake, which compiles datasets about the disease from multiple sources, so researchers don’t have to spend time wrangling data and can focus on generating insights. AWS provided cloud infrastructure to support. Learn more here.
Amazon donates CAD$3 million to relief organizations in Canada
We are donating CAD$3 million ($2.1 million USD) to organizations supporting those most affected by the COVID-19 crisis in Canada. This includes CAD$1.5 million for the Canadian Red Cross, United Way Centraide Canada, and Food Banks Canada to support their critical pandemic relief efforts. We’re also creating a CAD$1.5 million fund to help local organizations in the communities where our employees live and work. These funds will help support food banks and procure protective equipment for local hospitals, among other efforts. Read more.
Letters from our frontline employees in India
When our customers write to us, we listen. Customers have been sending letters of thanks to our people who work across the Amazon fulfillment network in India. In turn, our employees responded by expressing their heart-felt thoughts. “Dear Customer, I request you from the bottom of my heart not to leave your homes, but to stay safe during this lockdown period. It is really a dangerous situation out there these days. We are continuously trying to fight back the coronavirus and we need your help to win this fight.” See dozens of letters here.
Amazon Brazil donates to organizations fighting COVID‑19
We have donated R$5 million ($1 million USD) to two Brazilian nonprofits supporting communities during the pandemic: Comunitas and the Alice Figueira Foundation. The organizations will use the funds to purchase personal protective equipment like masks, medical equipment like ventilators, and food.
Amazon Web Services powers robotic startup’s effort to keep essential businesses clean
Brain Corp, a robotics startup, has deployed autonomous floor scrubbers across retail businesses, airports, hospitals, and other spaces requiring frequent cleanings. The fleet of robots perform more than 8,000 hours of cleaning each day. Brain Corp recently announced it is donating $1.6 million worth of autonomous floor-cleaning robots and services, powered in part by AWS, so essential businesses can use a cleaning robot free of charge during the crisis.
Updated work-from-home guidance
We continue to prioritize the health of our employees and follow local government guidance. Amazon employees who work in a role that can be done effectively from home are welcome to do so until at least October 2. We are working hard and investing significant funds to keep those who choose to come to the office safe through physical distancing, deep cleaning, temperature checks, and the availability of face coverings and hand sanitizer.
Making masks available to Whole Foods Market customers nationwide
To help protect the safety and health of Whole Foods Market Team Members and communities, we will be requesting customers wear masks in Whole Foods Market stores. Within the next week, we will be offering free, disposable masks to all Whole Foods Market customers nationwide when they arrive at the store to shop. If customers don't already have their own face covering, they will be able to pick up a mask at the entrance of the Whole Foods Market store. Details here.
Providing for customers and protecting employees
In the second quarter of 2020, Amazon expects to invest approximately $4 billion on COVID-related expenses to get products to customers and keeping employees safe. This includes investments in personal protective equipment, enhanced cleaning of our facilities, less efficient process paths that better allow for effective social distancing, higher wages for hourly teams, and developing our own COVID-19 testing capabilities. In March and April, we announced hiring plans, and have since hired 175,000 people in our fulfillment and delivery network in response to increased customer demand and to assist existing employees. Read more about our work to keep employees safe.
Delivering to first responders in California
Being able to support the communities where we live and work adds meaning and purpose to our jobs, according to Kevin Murray a site manager at an AMZL Delivery Station in the Bay Area. Recently, his team in San Francisco took time to assemble and deliver 200 care packages to emergency service workers and first responders. "Doing our jobs well isn't just about data and bottom lines," Murray said, "Ultimately, it's about people and where we choose to spend our time and energy."
Whole Foods Market expands reserved grocery pickup to at-risk shoppers nationwide
To support the most vulnerable communities during this pandemic, we are reserving the first hour of grocery pickup at Whole Foods Market stores nationwide for customers 60 years and older, those with disabilities, and those whom the CDC defines as high risk. Read details here and learn about other ways we are helping grocery customers.
Amazon expands online use of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits
Arizona, California, and Kentucky become the latest states to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture pilot enabling Amazon customers to use SNAP benefits to purchase groceries online. The pilot is already live in Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, and Washington. We are committed to making food accessible through online shopping and we look forward to adding more states soon. Read about the program.
How Amazon’s logistics network is helping the UK Government during the pandemic
Amazon is collaborating with the UK Government to deliver COVID‑19 test kits to the homes of essential workers. We are waiving fees and providing this service free of charge. “We believe our role serving customers and the community during this time is a critical one, and we are committed to working closely with the Government to identify ways in which we can support efforts to respond to the crisis,” said Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager at Amazon. Learn more and watch a video here.
Amazon supports a nonprofit's initiative to fund artisans making masks for frontline workers
As part of a new initiative called "give a mask, employ an artisan," the nonprofit Nest will buy masks from its small business partners and donate them to healthcare professionals and others doing critical work. Amazon's support through this program will help artisans experiencing economic distress amid the pandemic and ensure frontline workers have access to protective equipment.
Amazon Web Services powers a free database for COVID‑19 research and vaccine development
Cerner, a global healthcare technology company, has compiled de-identified patient data to help COVID‑19 researchers and has leveraged AWS to secure and store the critical information. The data will support research, vaccine development, and new treatment options—and it’s available for free, creating an opportunity for organizations to share information and accelerate our understanding of the disease. Get more details.
Amazon to invest more than $800 million on COVID-19 safety measures
Through the measures we worked rapidly to implement, we expect to spend more than $800 million in the first half of the year on COVID‑19 safety measures. This includes purchasing items like masks, hand sanitizer, thermal cameras, thermometers, sanitizing wipes, gloves, and additional handwashing stations, as well as using disinfectant spraying in buildings, procuring COVID‑19 testing supplies, and hiring more janitorial staff. Some specific numbers include:
- Deploying 100 million+ masks
- Adding 2,298 handwashing stations
- Adding 5,765+ janitorial staffers to our typical teams
- Deploying an additional 34 million gloves
- Adding 48 million ounces of hand sanitizer
- Adding 93 million sanitizing spray bottles and wipes
- Deploying more than 31,000 thermometers and 1,115+ thermal cameras
We’re also spending over $85 million redeploying team members from their typical roles to perform safety related tasks and audits at sites around the world. This includes team members who are “social distancing ambassadors” helping with temperature checks. Read more about how we’re taking care of employees.
Meet an employee at the forefront of health and safety in an Amazon fulfillment center
As a child, Heather Mayberry was wowed by paramedics and the work they do to help people in their most difficult moments. It's what inspired her to ultimately chose a career focused on keeping people safe and healthy. Today, as an Amazon workplace health and safety manager in Phoenix (PHX6), she’s a part of the team that’s implemented 150 process improvements since the start of the pandemic. "My focus is doing everything I can to protect those who work at Amazon, so we can all go home safely to our families each day," she said. Read more.
Amazon donates $3.9 million to expand computer science education in Virginia
The Amazon Future Engineer donation includes virtual resources, training for over 12,000 teachers and curriculum to students whose schools closed due to COVID‑19. Amazon Future Engineer is a comprehensive childhood-to-career program aimed at increasing access to computer science education for children and young adults from underserved and underrepresented communities. More than 700 Virginia schools that may otherwise lack access, training, or funding, will benefit from the donation. Learn more.
A message for World Day for Safety and Health at Work from Heather MacDougall, Amazon vice president of workplace health and safety
Throughout the COVID‑19 pandemic, our first question every day has been, "What else can we do to protect employees, while keeping our operations running smoothly for communities of customers and people in need?" Over 60 days, we’ve made more than 150 major process changes and invested deeply to help ensure our teams are safe and remain healthy at work. Read her full post on LinkedIn.
Amazon Web Services delivers remote learning for more than one million students in Israel
Working with AWS, the Israel Ministry of Education collaborated with education technology companies to provide learning services in Hebrew and Arabic for 1.8 million students. Find details here.
New features through Alexa and Amazon devices
We’ve added more experiences to make it easy to stay informed and entertained amid COVID‑19.
- Ask Alexa to open the Mayo Clinic Answers on COVID‑19 skill for guidance on symptoms, prevention, coping, treatment, and more.
- New and existing Fire TV and Fire tablet owners in the U.S. will receive a complimentary one-year subscription to the Food Network Kitchen app. A special “We Cook Together Weekend” on Food Network Kitchen this weekend (May 2, 3) will let you cook along with your favorite chefs from home.
Amazon Air made its first-ever stop in Shanghai to bring personal protective equipment to U.S.
The aircraft picked up and transported personal protective equipment back to the U.S. last week for health care organizations and others in need. Watch now.
Surprise gifts for a special class of 2020 from Amazon
Prime Video presents the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection
Following the cancellation of the SXSW Conference and Festivals due to COVID‑19, Amazon Prime Video and SXSW joined forces to launch a 10-day online film festival that starts today (April 27) and runs through May 6 on Prime Video. A collection of documentary and narrative features, short films, and episodic titles from the 2020 SXSW Film Festival lineup will be available to stream here with or without an Amazon Prime membership. All that is needed is a free Amazon account. Find the full lineup here.
Discover how customers are using Alexa during the COVID‑19 pandemic
Brighten someone’s day by sending your Alexa contacts a hug. To learn more, just ask, “Alexa, how do I send a hug?" From Drop-In calls to dance tutorials, and setting up a traffic light, see some of the ways customers are using Alexa in their homes.
Whole Foods Market adds a grocery pickup option for customers age 60 and older
To support one of the most vulnerable communities during this pandemic, Whole Foods Market is reserving the first hour of grocery pickup for shoppers 60 years and older at stores in Indianapolis, Las Vegas, and Richmond, and we’ll expand to all Whole Foods Market pickup locations nationwide in the coming weeks. Read more about these updates and other ways we are helping grocery customers.
Amazon Web Services helps speed up the review of medical images
With support from AWS, Feedback Medical is scaling its software platform for reviewing radiology images to address increased demand during the COVID‑19 pandemic. Feedback Medical, a Cambridge-based company focused on medical imaging technology, is supplying its platform to all National Health Service providers in the UK at no cost. Read more about how AWS customers and partners are seeking solutions during the crisis.
Amazon transportation teams deliver personal protective equipment to hospitals and clinics
Amazon continues to support local communities during the COVID-19 crisis. This week, Amazon delivered personal protective equipment and supplies in support of Get Us PPE in Chicago. We are using our Amazon trailers to pick up supplies at Boston Scientific, transport them to delivery stations, and coordinate final deliveries to hospitals and clinics.
Extending the hourly pay increase through mid-May
We’ve extended the increased pay ($2 per hour in the U.S., C$2 per hour in Canada, and €2 per hour in many EU countries) for hourly employees through May 16. We are also extending double overtime pay in the U.S. and Canada. These extensions increase our total investment in pay during COVID-19 to nearly $700 million for our hourly employees and partners. In addition, we are providing flexibility with leave of absence options, including expanding the policy to cover COVID-19 circumstances, such as high-risk individuals or school closures.
A show of support with rainbows on Amazon buildings
Giant #rainbowsofhope are lighting up Amazon buildings across the country - check out our fulfilment centre in Doncaster last night. Thank you to all of our nation’s key workers. Find out more about what we’re doing to keep our employees safe here:https://t.co/7TswRKp2ae pic.twitter.com/xhCNakevME— AmazonNewsUK (@AmazonNewsUK) April 24, 2020
Discover why rainbows are showing up on windows, buildings, and sidewalks around the world in this story.
Meet some of the Amazon employees who are supporting customers around the world
Bri Tye was looking for a temporary job when she joined Amazon. Today, she’s risen through the ranks to become a general manager in Texas. Read more here about the people behind the scenes who are helping customers get the products they need.
Amazon donates devices around the world
Donations to Weill Cornell Medical Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Rhode Island Medical Society, Caritas, Arbeiterwohlfahrt, and Hephata Diakonie are the latest in our $5 million commitment to team up with hospitals, schools, and community organizations. We’re supplying Amazon Devices (Kindle, Fire tablets, Echo, Fire TV, and more) to those in need amid COVID‑19. These devices help connect elderly residents in care homes, hospital patients, and their families. More details here.
Support in Amazon’s HQ cities
The ongoing COVID‑19 crisis has impacted communities across the U.S., including the cities home to our two corporate headquarters: the Seattle region and Arlington, Virginia. Learn about ways Amazon is supporting local businesses, schools, and organizations during the pandemic here.
Amazon grants $2.5 million to Columbia University for COVID-19 study
Amazon has made a $2.5 million grant to fund research at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health into whether blood plasma from COVID‑19 survivors can prevent and treat COVID‑19 infections. The study is a critical first step in understanding if plasma donated from COVID‑19 survivors can provide effective preventative care for frontline healthcare workers and those at high-risk of poor outcomes from the disease. Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, director of Columbia’s Center for Infection and Immunity, is leading the study in collaboration with colleagues. Read more here.
AWS powers new platform to assess social distancing trends
Built on Amazon Web Services, the Maryland Transportation Institute at the University of Maryland has built an interactive analytics platform to help public officials understand how social distancing behavior affects the spread of COVID‑19, mobility, and local economies. The platform is run entirely on AWS, and we donated AWS service credits and technical support to the project. Learn more.
Amazon Live event to benefit Feeding America
Kellogg’s and Amazon Live will host “At Home Cooking,” a livestreamed cook-a-thon to support Feeding America, today (Thursday) from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Fourteen chefs—including Padma Lakshmi, Emeril Lagasse, and Rocco DiSpirito—will stream live from their kitchens, cooking meals with ingredients commonly found in the pantry and answering viewers’ questions. Amazon Live and Kellogg's are donating directly to Feeding America in conjunction with the event. The stream is available to anyone in the U.S. via the Amazon Shopping App on compatible Fire TV devices, and by visiting amazon.com/live.
Amazon Web Services powers the 2020 NFL Draft
The 2020 NFL Draft has gone completely remote amid COVID-19, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the tech partners helping with the success of the event. With AWS's networking, scalability, security, and compute capabilities, we're ensuring that everyone watching—from a prospective player to a fan at home—has a seamless experience throughout the three-day draft. Read more about how AWS is collaborating with the NFL.
Amazon to deliver 6 million meals to underserved and vulnerable populations
Amazon is supporting food banks across the U.S. to donate delivery services of shelf-stable groceries and pre-packaged foods to serve 6 million meals through the end of June. Using our network of Amazon Flex drivers, Amazon has already delivered 427,000 pounds of groceries, representing 336,000 meals, in Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Orlando, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. We’re committed to expanding to 25 U.S. cities and international locations to help those disproportionately impacted by COVID‑19. Read the full story here and USA Today article here.
Amazon Music and Jack Johnson support COVID‑19 relief efforts in Hawaii
To mark the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, and in support of COVID‑19 relief efforts, Amazon Music is teaming up with multi-platinum artist and environmentalist Jack Johnson to present Kokua Festival 2020 – Live from Home. Streaming Saturday, April 25th, the Kokua Festival will feature musical performances as well as cooking lessons from some of state’s top chefs. Donations from the festival will support environmental education in schools and programs that promote food security and sustainable local food systems in Hawaii. Fans can get ready for the festival with the Kokua 2020 Playlist, and watch the show on Saturday via Amazon Music’s Twitch channel.
New entertainment choices with Amazon Devices
In addition to resources from Amazon Devices to keep you connected and informed, here are three new entertainment options.
- Stream "Mondays with Michelle Obama" from the YouTube app on your Fire TV every Monday through May 11.
- Sesame Street and Headspace launched a new meditation series for children. Families with kids can watch Cookie Monster and Elmo on the YouTube app on Fire TV.
- Amazon Live is also partnering with Kellogg's to host At Home Cooking, a livestreamed cook-a-thon to support Feeding America, on Thursday, April 23 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. The stream is available to anyone in the U.S. via the Amazon Shopping App on compatible Fire TV devices, and by visiting amazon.com/live on Fire tablet, desktop, and mobile.
Amazon joins a coalition to support small businesses with educational content and resources
As part of the new Stand for Small coalition, Amazon is providing resources to small businesses navigating the impacts of COVID-19. This includes free use of business applications such as Amazon Chime, Amazon WorkDocs, and Amazon WorkSpaces, as well as free use of Amazon Web Services for 12 months using AWS Free Tier. These tools will help small businesses use the cloud, communicate, and collaborate. Amazon is also providing complimentary access to training and educational tools from its Amazon Small Business Academy to help entrepreneurs learn how to build their business online. Learn more about Amazon's small business resources here.
How we’re protecting customers from price gouging
We’re working around the clock to provide the products and services people need. This includes taking a number of important steps to keep prices fair and protect our customers from the unethical—and, in some cases, illegal—practice of price gouging. Read Vice President of Public Policy Brian Huseman’s op-ed in The Tennessean.
Florida SNAP beneficiaries can now use benefits for Amazon grocery orders
In collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture, Amazon has expanded its participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Online Purchasing Pilot to Florida. The pilot enables customers to use SNAP benefits for online grocery purchases and is already live in Alabama, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, and Washington. We are committed to making food accessible through online shopping and we look forward to adding more states soon. Read about the program.
Amazon donates 10,000 Fire 7 tablets to California students
Amazon joined a coalition of companies answering a call from California Governor Gavin Newsom to help the state’s most vulnerable youth. Amazon is donating 10,000 Fire 7 tablets to the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation, a non-profit supporting the state’s public education system, to help middle and high school students with distance learning.
The story behind rainbows in windows around the world
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, children are displaying rainbows in their windows and thanking essential workers who continue to do their jobs enabling many people to stay home. See images and Amazon videos supporting the rainbow movement here.
How one teacher is using free robotics coursework from Amazon Future Engineer
With schools closed, kitchens and living rooms are now classrooms in homes across the country. Wyman Khuu is one of thousands of teachers determined to make it work for his students. "I don't want the coronavirus gap to exist," said Khuu. "My priority is to make remote learning feel like school so they can learn the things they need to learn and continue getting the education they deserve." Read the full story.
Alexa answers your questions about COVID-19
Alexa can now answer tens of thousands of questions related to COVID-19 in countries around the world, and we are working to provide accurate and timely information from official government and news sources globally. Read more here about how to use Alexa and Amazon Devices to stay informed, connected, and entertained.
AWS accelerates COVID-19 research for Jameel Institute at Imperial College London
Experts at the Imperial College London and its Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics are leveraging Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide public health agencies and governments with real-time data and models to inform COVID-19 responses. With the help of AWS, researchers can quickly review data from around the world to understand transmission and outbreak severity, as well as the impact of different intervention methods. Read more about efforts from AWS customers and partners.
Work-from-home tips from a manager with Amazon’s virtual customer service program
Michelle Overturf is a military spouse with a home-based career. "Your job and your home life all start to blend together,” she said. “So you need to find ways to keep them separate.” Overturf shares advice here for maintaining work-life harmony during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amazon and Fred Hutchinson launch Covidwatch volunteer study
Amazon is collaborating with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center on a new volunteer study announced today called Covidwatch. The study will investigate infection rates, transmission times, and potential re-infections, while providing data analysis to the broader scientific community. Amazon is providing funding as well as technical expertise web hosting from AWS, and is working closely with Fred Hutch’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease research team, who are managing the study. Read more here.
Amazon donates masks to public health services in Europe
Over the past week, we have distributed millions of masks to all Amazon associates, delivery service partners, Amazon Flex participants, and seasonal employees, and we are encouraging everyone to use them. As a result, we’re now deploying our logistics teams to deliver 700,000 masks to public health services and other essential workers in eight countries around Europe. We’ll distribute 100,000 masks in the U.K., Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and Poland as well as 50,000 masks in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Any N-95 masks we receive continue to be donated to healthcare workers on the front lines or made available through Amazon Business to healthcare and government organizations at cost. Read more here.
Stream songs from the “Singing Surgeon” on Amazon Music
Orthopedic surgery resident Dr. Elvis Francois has always loved music and connects with patients through songs. Now, he’s released “Music Is Medicine”, recorded with pianist and fellow resident Dr. William Robinson to benefit The Center of Disaster Philanthropy COVID-19 Response Fund. The songs are available on streaming services, including on Amazon Music. Listeners can say, "Alexa, play the Singing Surgeon" in the Amazon Music app and on Alexa-enabled devices to hear him sing. Dr. Francois is releasing this music to offer comfort to those looking for solace in these difficult times, and is raising money to help his colleagues in the field.
Their work helps millions stay home
The people who work in Amazon's operations network are making sure customers can get what they need while the pandemic makes sheltering in place a matter of both personal and public health. Meet some of the Amazonians who are stepping up during these unprecedented times.
Katie Smith joined Amazon in March after being laid off from her job in the food industry. Now she helps manage inventory as it comes into the fulfillment center in Robbinsville, New Jersey. She said she's reassured by the safety procedures at Amazon. "When you walk in, they take your temperature. And they're passing out masks for us at the front door."
AWS helps educational institutions quickly transition to remote learning
Amazon Web Services (AWS) and members of its Partner Network are supporting schools across the world transition to online learning amid COVID-19. AWS partners like Blackboard, Canvas by Instructure, and others, provide a variety of education technology (EdTech) resources, and AWS solutions architects and experts are available virtually to help establish remote learning environments, consult on the best virtual resources for each school’s unique needs, and provide technical guidance. AWS is also working with EdTech companies to provide infrastructure for education ministries, colleges, and schools in Italy, India, Egypt, Brazil, and elsewhere, to quickly deploy remote-learning platforms. Read more about efforts from AWS customers and partners.
An Amazon general manager shares his thoughts on “doing something so much greater than oneself”
Amazon publishes annual letter to shareholders from Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO
Read the letter here.
Amazon encourages U.S. residents to participate in short study to help public health organizations
The Delphi Research Group at Carnegie Mellon University is running a short survey to gather data about U.S. residents who are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19. This data will help the Delphi Group forecast COVID-19 hospitalizations to come, and will help guide the response of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local public health organizations. Amazon is encouraging Americans interested in participating to complete a brief, two-minute survey about their symptoms. Participation is entirely voluntary and no personal information will be collected by or shared with Amazon. Take the survey.
Amazon continues to support communities around the world through device donations
Amazon is donating $5 million in devices to support communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. New efforts include:
- The Seattle Children's Hospital received Kindle Kids Edition devices and Fire HD 8 tablets to help isolated patients and their families stay connected and entertained while in treatment.
- Albero Della Vita—a non-profit organization based in Italy that fosters the development of children, their families, and communities—received Fire HD 8 tablets so families in need can stay entertained and communicate with loved ones while in isolation.
- The Seattle Storm, a professional basketball team based in Seattle, received Echo Dot devices to give away to fans participating in the Seattle Storm daily workout series, which encourages people to stay active while at home. Fans can ask Alexa to set daily reminders to break a sweat with the Storm Workout skill voiced by Sue Bird.
AWS helps streamline volunteer and community relief responses
Amazon Web Services helped Crisis Cleanup, a software platform, launch new websites to streamline volunteer and community relief responses to COVID-19. The websites enable relief groups to conduct wellness checks of elderly individuals or those with a compromised immune system, and coordinate deliveries of food, medicine, and pet supplies to those in need. Learn more.
Sarah Rhoads, VP, Amazon Global Air: We'll continue rising to the challenge of COVID-19
Amazon supports Seattle-area rental assistance program
Amazon has provided $50,000 to support the expansion of the Home Base program, which was originally designed to fight homelessness by preventing evictions and will now provide rental assistance to King County households whose income has been impacted by COVID-19. United Way of King County, City of Seattle, the Seattle Foundation, and others have raised $5 million for the fund to help an estimated 2,000 families. The Amazon donation helped meet this goal. Read more about the Home Base program.
AWS customers and partners seek solutions during the COVID-19 crisis
Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers and partners around the world are helping in the fight against COVID-19. Their efforts include accelerating research, compiling COVID-19 data, scaling telehealth solutions, supporting the rapid expansion of online learning to keep students engaged in their studies, and more. Read the full story.
When scaling your workload is a matter of saving lives
In March, a group of volunteer professionals reached out to Werner Vogels, Amazon CTO, about supporting a scenario planning tool that modeled the potential impact of COVID-19. The group, led by former White House Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil, needed to scale their model so governors across the US could understand the volume of exposure, infection, and hospitalization to inform response plans. In close partnership with AWS and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the group moved the model to the cloud, allowing them to run multiple scenarios simultaneously and generate a full report in hours rather than a week. Read the full story.
Prime Video adds selection of free content from HBO, CBSN, MLB, and the NBA
Prime Video is helping customers stay entertained while at home with a number of new free content offerings available this week, including:
- More than 30 TV shows and movies from HBO including Big Little Lies, McMillion$, Ballers, Silicon Valley, Succession, and more. These shows are available now, for free, to Amazon customers in the US. To access this free content from HBO, customers just need to sign into their Amazon Account—no Prime membership required.
- CBSN, a 24-hour news channel from CBS News, is available for free on Prime Video in the U.S. Anyone with an Amazon account can now access 24/7 news coverage from CBS News through Prime Video. Like HBO, to access CBSN on Prime Video, customers just need to sign into their Amazon Account—no Prime membership required.
- The top 30 MLB games from 2019, as well as nearly 80 NBA Hardwood Classics, are now available for Prime members in the U.S. looking to get their sports fix while play is suspended.
An Amazon IT support technician for Amazon Air Cargo shares his experience in an op-ed
As an Amazon employee for the past four years, Jeff Quinton writes, "I firmly believe Amazon is working to provide safe job opportunities and plays a leading role in helping communities across the country during this challenging time. The team I work with is like a family to me and when things happen inside and outside the workplace, management lets us know that we matter and they care about us." Read his full story here.
Amazon helps Seattle students obtain resources and essential items
Amazon has given a $150,000 grant to the Alliance for Education's Right Now Needs Fund to support Seattle Public Schools students and families experiencing hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. The donation includes flexible funding and credits to shop online for eligible groceries, health products, and personal care items sold on Amazon, which will be delivered directly to doorsteps. Amazon created the Right Now Needs Fund in October 2018, with an initial $2 million grant, to support all 104 public schools in Seattle. The fund provides staff and community members with resources to address the urgent and basic needs of their students. Learn more about the Right Now Needs Fund here.
Vice President Mike Pence acknowledges Amazon's hiring as "we face this pandemic together."
Amazon hiring for additional 75,000 jobs; has brought on 100,000+ new associates in the last four weeks
On March 16, we announced Amazon would invest over $350 million globally to increase pay for our teams during the coronavirus pandemic and would hire an additional 100,000 people in full and part-time jobs across our operations network to keep as many people as possible working during this crisis. Today, we are proud to announce that our original 100,000 jobs pledge is filled and those new employees are working at sites across the U.S. helping to serve customers. We continue to see increased demand as our teams support their communities, and are going to continue to hire, creating an additional 75,000 jobs to help serve customers during this unprecedented time. Interested candidates can apply at www.amazon.com/jobsnow. We know many people have been economically impacted as jobs in areas like hospitality, restaurants, and travel are lost or furloughed as part of this crisis and we welcome anyone out of work to join us at Amazon until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back. We also continue to invest in pay increases and previously expected to spend $350 million to increase wages during this unprecedented time—we now expect that to be nearly $700 million. We’ll continue to invest in safety, pay, and benefits for our teams who are playing an invaluable role in getting items to communities around the world, and you can read more about our safety efforts.
How Amazon is powering COVID-19 diagnostics of the future
Teresa Carlson, vice president for Amazon Web Services (AWS), spoke in-depth with Forbes about the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative, a program to support customers working on better, more accurate diagnostic solutions. The piece highlights several AWS customers participating in the initiative, including an up-close look at new research from the University of British Columbia and Vancouver General Hospital on using CT scans to determine whether patients have COVID-19. Read the full story.
Amazon supports computer science students with laptop donations and free online resources
Amazon Future Engineer is helping high school computer science students in need prepare for Advanced Placement (AP) exams through laptop donations and new free online resources. With schools closed, students have to study and take AP tests, which can provide college credit, at home. To help students navigate this challenging situation, Amazon Future Engineer is donating 4,000 laptops and making new online computer science resources, including exam prep, free. Amazon Future Engineer is a childhood-to-career program inspiring and supporting students from underserved and underrepresented communities to pursue computer science. Learn more.
Amazon Music collaborates with H.E.R. to raise donations for the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund
Amazon Music will make a donation to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund for every view of two-time Grammy Award winner H.E.R.'s Instagram Live Series, Girls With Guitars (8 p.m. Eastern) up to a total of $30,000.
New ways we're getting groceries to customers during the COVID-19 crisis
Amazon and Whole Foods Market continue prioritizing the health and safety of customers and employees, while also working to meet the unprecedented demand for grocery delivery. We've expanded services, launched new features, and opened stores in order to serve the dramatic increase in customer demand. Read more.
AWS and Salesforce help keep service agents safe and connected with customers
Salesforce and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have teamed up to help organizations stand up virtual contact centers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Going virtual keeps service agents safe while allowing them to remain connected with customers. Specifically, Amazon and Salesforce are offering Salesforce Care customers credits for Amazon Connect, AWS' cloud-based contact center service. Learn more.
AWS powers telemedicine platform to increase patient care during COVID-19
MyClinic365 is donating its telemedicine platform, which is powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), to doctors and allied healthcare professionals in Ireland for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. The platform provides services like secure messaging, scheduling chatbots, automated prescription requests, and video consultations, decreasing administrative tasks for healthcare professionals so they can provide faster patient care.
An Amazon director of information technology shares work-from-home advice
Though Amazon corporate offices are closed around the world, new employees are starting every week. Director of Information Technology Kellie Green, and her team, invented a new process to onboard employees remotely and shares some of the lessons they've learned about working from home along the way. Read more about Green's insights.
Amazon delivers supplies to UW Medical Center and Seattle Children's Hospital
As part of our effort to support local communities during this difficult time, Amazon delivered swabs for use in COVID-19 test kits to University of Washington Medical Center and Seattle Children's Hospital. The swabs were part of a shipment of medical supplies we ordered to help organizations fighting the pandemic, and we will continue leveraging our operations network to deliver critical materials to those who need it most.
Amazon donating $5 million in devices globally
Amazon is teaming up with hospitals, schools, and community organizations around the globe to supply $5 million in Amazon Devices (Kindle, Fire tablets, Echo, Fire TV, and more) to those impacted by COVID-19. The device donations will help a variety of people who need support, including frontline healthcare workers who need to safely communicate remotely with patients as well as kids who need learning resources while schools and libraries are closed. Read more about our ongoing device donations here. Learn more.
Amazon to welcome a virtual class of interns for Summer 2020
Amazon interns play a role in building the future for our customers, and this summer, Amazon will host more than 8,000 interns around the world—the company's largest intern class to date—offering an entirely virtual experience. Along with the virtual curriculum, the internship will include mentorship with tenured Amazonians, moderated group discussions, opportunities to connect with other interns, weekly fireside chats with senior leaders, and a variety of networking events. Tools like Amazon Chime will help interns connect with teammates, mentors, managers, and other interns. Amazon Future Engineer will also welcome its class of nearly 100 interns, virtually. These interns represent our first ever Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship recipients and are each receiving $40,000 from Amazon over the course of their four-year undergraduate experience to pursue a computer science degree.
Amazon Spheres light up blue to support frontline workers
We illuminated The Spheres with blue light this evening in a show of support for those on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. As part of the #MakeItBlue campaign, buildings and landmarks across the U.S. are lighting up to draw attention to those providing essential services for their communities.
Amazon supports a $10 million emergency initiative for artists and writers
Amazon Literary Partnership has joined a coalition of national arts grant makers to create a $10 million initiative for U.S. artists and writers. Artist Relief will support those struggling financially during the outbreak through grants and serve as an ongoing informational resource. It will also co-launch a survey to better identify and address the needs of artists during this difficult time. Learn more.
Scalable testing for Coronavirus
As we’ve discussed on this blog before, Amazon is focused on protecting the health and safety of our employees while continuing to serve people who need our services more than ever. Our employees are heroes helping people get the products they need delivered to their doorsteps, products they might not otherwise be able to get while maintaining social distancing. Read details.
AWS makes critical COVID-19 data publicly available
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has created a public source for critical COVID-19 data to aid ongoing research. The data lake, which compiles datasets from multiple sources, will help healthcare workers, medical researchers, scientists, and public health officials working to understand and fight the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. The data lake includes information from Johns Hopkins University, The New York Times, Definitive Healthcare, and the Allen Institute for AI. AWS will add to this data lake as other reliable sources make their information available. Learn more here.
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos visits an Amazon fulfillment center and Whole Foods Market store to thank employees
Today's visits by our founder and CEO @JeffBezos to say thank you to Amazon fulfillment center and Whole Foods employees. We're all incredibly proud of the thousands of our colleagues working on the front lines to get critical goods to people everywhere during this crisis. pic.twitter.com/dygb345wDM— Amazon News (@amazonnews) April 9, 2020
Masks have been delivered across the Amazon operations network
The millions of masks we ordered weeks ago have been distributed across our network. They are available to all Amazon associates, delivery service partners, Amazon Flex participants, seasonal employees and Whole Foods Market stores employees, and we are encouraging everyone to take and use them.
Supporting hospital staff and patients through device donations
Amazon Devices is helping healthcare organizations on the front lines through device donations. Here are a few examples:
- Northwell Health, one of the leading, non-profit healthcare systems in New York, received Echo Show devices to help staff communicate with patients in isolation, reducing the need for staff to enter patient rooms and conserving personal protective equipment.
- University of California, San Francisco hospitals received Fire HD 8 tablets to help medical professionals communicate with patients remotely, and patients can also use the tablets to communicate with family and friends while in isolation.
- The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation received Fire 7 tablets and Fire 7 Kids Edition tablets for patients in isolation and families to use at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak campus in Michigan.
Highlighting a fulfillment center general manager
MSNBC featured Richard Hanna, general manager at an Amazon facility in Fall River, Massachusetts, in its hero-of-the-day segment. The video shows how Hanna his team are fulfilling essential services during the pandemic. Watch the segment.
See safety measures in our fulfillment centers
Giving our customers more time to return items
We're temporarily extending return windows in light of the ongoing global health crisis. Most items ordered through Amazon or seller partners in the U.S. and Canada between March 1, 2020, and April 30, 2020, can now be returned until May 31, 2020. For more about customer orders and deliveries, click here.
"Alexa, how do I make a face mask?"
We're continuing to add new Alexa skills and experiences to keep you informed. Just ask, "Alexa, how do I make a face mask?" to hear the Center for Disease Control's recommendation for making a face covering at home with a bandana, coffee filter, scissors, and two rubber bands. Alexa provides step-by-step instructions. Also, here are more ways to use Alexa to stay informed and connected.
Fleabag theater production on Prime Video will benefit COVID-19 charities
Beginning April 10, U.S. and UK customers can stream the theater production of Fleabag on Amazon Prime Video to benefit charities supporting those impacted by COVID-19. Phoebe Waller-Bridge created and wrote the production, which inspired the award-winning series from Amazon Studios. All proceeds generated from streaming the production will go to organizations like The National Emergencies Trust, NHS Charities Together, Acting For Others, and the newly launched Fleabag support fund, which will distribute grants to UK theatre industry affected by the crisis.
Amazon is piloting new health and safety measure for employees
We continue to explore even more preventative measures to support the health and safety of employees, who are providing a critical service in our communities. We are piloting disinfectant fogging, a practice commonly used by hospitals and airlines to supplement the enhanced cleaning measures that are already in place. We've also rolled out mandatory social distancing, temperature checks, and masks for everyone to use from arrival through shift departure, as we remain committed to keeping our teams healthy and safe.
AWS supports nonprofit effort to deploy one million volunteer health workers
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is supporting a new initiative from Volunteer Surge, a nonprofit consortium, to recruit, train, and deploy one million volunteer health workers. These volunteers will help address surging healthcare needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. AWS is powering the consortium's online training platform through its cloud computing services. Read more.
Amazon donates devices and funds to a Houston nursing facility
Amazon Music collaborated with hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion to make a monetary donation to a nursing home in the artist's hometown of Houston, Texas. Amazon Devices also provided nursing home residents with Fire 7 tablets to help them stay connected with their family members.
Amazon Prime Video and Twitch to stream charity concert on April 18
Amazon Prime Video and Twitch, an Amazon subsidiary, will stream One World: Together At Home, a charity concert benefiting healthcare workers, on April 18. Global Citizen, a group dedicated to ending extreme poverty, organized the concert in partnership with the World Health Organization and the United Nations. The concert will include performances from Billie Eilish, Elton John, and Paul McCartney among others, and will be hosted by Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Stephen Colbert. For more information visit Global Citizen.
Amazon donates 8,200 laptops to Seattle Public Schools
Amazon is donating 8,200 laptops, a gift valued at over $2 million, to Washington's largest school district. This donation will help ensure all Seattle Public Schools (SPS) students have access to a device so they can participate in online learning. The district will prioritize distribution of laptops to elementary students who do not have access to a device at home. "Amazon's gift comes at a crucial time for our students," said SPS Superintendent Denise Juneau. Read the full story here.
Getting millions of masks to our employees
The millions of masks Amazon ordered weeks ago are now arriving, and we're distributing them to our teams as quickly as possible. Amazon Air flights are currently transporting masks across the country to ensure all sites in our operations network have them by early this week. Any N-95 masks we receive we are either donating to healthcare workers on the front lines or making them available through Amazon Business to healthcare and government organizations at cost. For more information, read what SVP of Worldwide Operations Dave Clark wrote in his recent update on how we're protecting our employees.
Meet a few of the 100,000 newly-hired Amazon associates
The Amazon fulfillment center in Dallas, Texas is a sizable departure from Darby Griffin's preschool classroom where she's taught for the past three years. With school closed during the outbreak, she recently started working at Amazon helping manage new inventory. "It was a surreal moment after I got my badge and I walked into the building," she said. "It suddenly hit me that I was moving into a new chapter of my life. I've only ever worked with kids, so this was a big change." Read Darby's story.
How free content from Amazon makes time at home more educational and enjoyable
To help parents keep kids entertained and inspire learning, Amazon has opened its family-centric programming to all customers, no Amazon Prime subscription needed. See how one family is finding respite in a wide variety of free books, apps, and show.
Amazon expands USDA SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot
We're committed to making food accessible through online shopping, especially as millions are being encouraged to stay home. As part of our partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture, we've expanded the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Online Purchasing Pilot to Alabama and Nebraska. The pilot, which allows customers to use SNAP benefits for online grocery purchases, is already live in New York, Washington, Oregon, and Iowa, and we look forward to adding more states soon. You can read about the program here.
"Alexa, give me tips for cleaning" and more new features available for customers
New Alexa features include: tips for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces around your home, voice donations to the United Nations Foundation, and special store hours. Click here for details. Also, Prime Video and SXSW are launching a 10-day online film festival in late April that will be available on Fire TV, Fire tablet, and Echo Show. Read more here.
AWS supports White House effort to increase access to digital health services
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Consumer Technology Association, and American Telemedicine Association launched TechHealthDirectory.com, a new website featuring a growing list of digital health resources—from remote monitoring to telemedicine. The website is hosted on Amazon Web Services' cloud infrastructure, and we are proud to help ensure health care professionals around the world have access to this important resource during the COVID-19 pandemic. More information can be found here.
Elle UK highlights Amazon Flex Driver for her essential service during the pandemic
Shortly before London was given a stay-at-home order, Hannah Pratt became an Amazon Flex driver to earn additional income to supplement her personal business. Elle UK has now featured Pratt for her critical role delivering essential grocery and hygiene items to customers staying at home. Of her job delivering critical items, Pratt said, "When you do see a self-isolating sign, it reminds you how real it is. It's those moments when you think, 'You really do need me.' It makes me feel like I'm being helpful." Read the full story here.
Amazon will match donations 2-to-1 for Mary's Place, a nonprofit fighting homelessness in the Seattle area
During the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofit organizations are more important than ever. Right now, our partners at Mary's Place – a nonprofit that supports women, children, and families on their journey out of homelessness in the Seattle area – are serving more meals and purchasing extra medical supplies and equipment to keep families and staff safe and healthy. To further support Mary's Place, Amazon will match all donations to the nonprofit, up to $1 million, and will match gifts of $500 or more 2-to-1 from now through May 6. Click here to donate to Mary's Place for the Amazon match, and read more here about Amazon's ongoing relationship with Mary's Place.
Amazon contributes to a new country music fund supporting musicians facing financial hardship
Amazon Music is contributing to the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund, supporting musicians and music industry professionals suffering financially due to the pandemic. With cancelled shows and venues shutting down, many in the industry are facing uncertain futures. Details about the fund will be announced during an ACM special airing Sunday night, April 5 on CBS, with a pre-show event on Amazon Music's Twitch channel.
Amazon donates €21 million to relief organizations across Europe
In Europe, Amazon has committed €21 million (almost $23 million USD) to support those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Red Cross organizations in the UK, Germany, France, and Spain, as well as the Civil Protection Department in Italy, will receive donations totaling €12.5 million. Each of these countries will also receive €1 million to donate to local nonprofit organizations in communities where Amazon employees live and work. Nonprofits in Poland, Turkey, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Austria will also receive donations totaling €3.5 million. These donations are in addition to existing work Amazon and its employees have been doing across Europe. Read more here.
Response to recent events
The world is facing an unprecedented event right now: a combined public health and economic crisis. With much of the population on lockdown in the countries where we operate, Amazon is proud to be one of the companies able to fill the essential needs of our communities during this challenging time. With the social distancing required to fight COVID-19, delivering items directly to someone's door has never been more important, and our employees are serving as lifelines to tens of millions of people in this crisis. Read more from Dave Clark, SVP Worldwide Operations.
$100 million gift from Amazon CEO and founder to Feeding America
Today, to support those depending on our nation's foodbanks, Jeff Bezos made a $100 million gift to Feeding America—the largest U.S. nonprofit focused on food security. Feeding America will distribute the funds to their national network of food banks and food pantries, helping those in need.
Update on how we're protecting employees
To date, we've made over 150 significant process changes to ensure the health and safety of our Amazon teams. The complete rollout of temperature checks across our entire U.S. and European operations network and Whole Foods Market stores is expected by early next week, at which point we will be testing hundreds of thousands of people daily. Read details in this message from Dave Clark, Senior Vice President of Amazon Worldwide Operations.
Supporting teachers' virtual classes with no-cost resources
Amazon Web Services (AWS) Educate is mobilizing its vast network of educators who have experience teaching online. Starting April 6, webinars on a variety of remote learning topics will be available at no cost. Read the full story here.
Amazon donates Kindle Kids Edition devices
Amazon Devices & Services is donating devices to communities impacted by COVID-19. This week, Amazon provided 7th graders at Rainier Prep school in Seattle with Kindle Kids Edition devices and WiFi hot spots so they can easily access books while school is out and libraries are closed. Rainier Prep is one of Washington's first charter schools, committed to college and career readiness for low income, students of color and immigrant students.
On April 1, we recommended that corporate office employees who work in a role that can be done from home should do so through April 24. We updated this recommendation on April 14, and here is the new guidance: As the situation continues to stabilize in communities around the world, Amazon will localize work from home guidance beyond April 24 to follow local government orders and dates, which will vary by location. When local governments say it is okay to return to the office and after we implement any unique government-issued requirements, Amazon will provide teams with options to gradually return to their office or to continue working from home.
AWS Public Sector Partners address COVID-19 challenges around the world
Public Sector Partners within the AWS Partner Network (APN) have stepped up to support communities during the ongoing global health crisis. In Latin America, Whyline is using artificial intelligence to reduce overcrowding and congestion in hospitals by allowing patients to view wait times and join the queue remotely. And in Chile, CloudHesive has used their technology to help the government reduce travelers waiting in airports to minimize exposure. In Italy, radiologists are using Exprivia II, a cloud-based system that applies machine learning to medical imaging, to track the spread of the new virus. To learn more about APN Partners collaborating with public sector organizations around the world, visit the Public Sector blog.
Seattle-based COVID-19 Response Fund distributes $10 million in grants
Amazon contributed $1 million to help launch the Seattle Foundation's COVID-19 Response Fund in early March. Since then, contributions from other corporations and individuals have resulted in a $15 million COVID-19 Response Fund. Recently, the Seattle Foundation distributed $10 million in grants from the fund to community-based organizations that are responding to the immediate needs of vulnerable workers and families in the Puget Sound region. So far, 128 nonprofits have received funds to bolster frontline responses to the pandemic. Read the update here.
New content options for Alexa and Amazon Devices, and new routines for staying home
A few new developments include: Amazon Devices is participating in the World Health Organization's #PlayApartTogether campaign; we're enabling customers to access even more free digital books and stream hundreds of SiriusXM channels for free on Alexa-enabled devices through May 15; and Alexa can now help you adjust to your new schedule with two new routines – "Stay at Home" and "Work from Home." The "Stay at Home" routine notifies you to grab lunch and plan dinner, for example, while "Work from Home" tells you when it's time to get up and stretch, or wrap up for the day. Each routine can be easily enabled through the Alexa app. To learn about all the ways that Alexa and Amazon Devices are supporting customers during COVID-19, click here.
Twitch Stream Aid raises more than $2.7 million for COVID-19 relief fund
Twitch Stream Aid, a charity livestream hosted by Amazon subsidiary Twitch, raised more than $2.7 million for COVID-19 relief efforts. The livestream, which took place March 28, brought together gaming, music, sports, and entertainment personalities to encourage the global effort to stay home and drive donations. Funds benefited the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization, powered by the United Nations Foundation. Donations can still be made here.
A look at our health and safety measures for grocery employees and customers
We are working quickly to deliver groceries and essential items to customers as fast as possible through Whole Foods Market, Amazon Fresh, and Prime Now. We're also prioritizing the health and safety of our employees and customers, and we've put in place enhanced cleanliness and sanitation efforts. See the photos below of our grocery employees, and read more.
"Alexa, what do I do if I think I have COVID-19?"
We're working hard to ensure Alexa is as helpful as possible during the COVID-19 crisis. We built a U.S. experience that lets you use Alexa to check your risk level for COVID-19 at home. Ask, "Alexa, what do I do if I think I have COVID-19?" or "Alexa, what do I do if I think I have coronavirus?" She will ask a series of questions and provide CDC guidance given your risk level and symptoms. Read more.
Providing 73,000 meals to elderly and vulnerable residents in the Seattle area
Amazon is collaborating with local catering business Gourmondo to distribute 73,000 meals, over the course of a month, to 2,700 elderly and medically-vulnerable residents in Seattle and King County during the COVID-19 outbreak. "Amazon is committed to supporting people in immediate need across the globe and right here in King County—and right now it's more important than ever we pay close attention to our most vulnerable neighbors," said John Schoettler, Amazon vice president, Global Real Estate and Facilities. Read more.
Amazon grants over $5 million to 400 small businesses in Seattle
Amazon provided $5.5 million in relief to more than 400 small businesses through cash grants and free rent as part of our Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund announced on March 10. These businesses support local jobs that are a critical part of the Seattle and Puget Sound economy. Amazon's grants will help small businesses confront their economic challenges right now. Learn more about early recipients.
CNN interview with Jay Carney on Amazon's COVID-19 response
Amazon's SVP of Global Corporate Affairs discusses hiring and how the company is addressing the pandemic. Watch here.
Health and safety measures from the global Amazon network
Amazonians all over the world have sent in images of the ways their facilities are adapting to fight the spread of COVID-19. See below for snapshots that capture everything from the enhanced cleaning protocols to the many visual reminders of the need to practice social distancing. Read more here about how Amazon prioritizes health and safety while fulfilling customer orders.
Amazon teams up with Lyft to help drivers find work
Amazon and Lyft are collaborating to reduce the hardships drivers are facing due to a drop in using the ride-hailing service. Lyft is encouraging its drivers to apply for roles in Amazon's fulfillment centers to support grocery and package deliveries. Amazon is ramping up hiring by opening 100,000 new roles to support people relying on Amazon's service in this stressful time. Read more.
Amazon Web Services-powered platform helps Boston Children's Hospital track the spread of COVID-19
The Boston Children's Hospital Computational Epidemiology Lab recently launched COVID Near You, a platform built on Amazon Web Services to track the spread of COVID-19. It uses crowdsourced data to create map-based visualizations to help citizens and public health agencies identify current and potential hotspots for COVID-19. COVID Near You provides real-time reports of virus symptoms which can augment traditional public health tracking and help citizens understand COVID-19 symptoms are occurring in their community. Learn more.
Amazon Web Services and Electronic Caregiver help healthcare providers assess COVID-19 symptoms remotely
Amazon Lex is powering smart hub technology for Electronic Caregiver, a health and safety monitoring device provider, to aid in the detection and treatment of COVID-19. The technology allows healthcare professionals to monitor vitals, such as a high temperature and flu-like symptoms, remotely through wearable devices. If an elevated-temperature reading occurs, the technology triggers a voice interaction between the healthcare provider with the wearable and the patient to check symptoms and assess a COVID-19 risk score. The solution can also connect to a physician-on-demand telehealth service to provide additional diagnosis and order prescriptions remotely.
Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos discusses COVID-19 issues and logistics with Washington Governor Jay Inslee
Amazon UK supports NHS initiative to increase COVID-19 testing capacity
We are joining a coalition of UK companies, universities, and research institutions to boost testing capacity for COVID-19. Our logistics network, along with Royal Mail, will deliver test kits to critical workers and diagnostic sites set up around the UK. National Health Service (NHS) staff on the frontlines of the pandemic will be among the first to benefit from the increased testing capacity. Find out more here.
Amazon donates over £3M to relief organizations in the UK
Amazon today committed £3.2 million ($3.9M USD) to organizations supporting those most affected by the COVID-19 crisis in the UK, including the British Red Cross and local intuitions in communities where our employees live and work. This donation is part of Amazon's broader ongoing efforts to support customers, employees, and communities in the UK and around the world. Read more.
Amazon Web Services collaborates with Conduent to help government agencies scale COVID-19 responses
We are working with our Amazon Web Services (AWS) partner, Conduent (a business process and services company), to empower federal, state, and local agencies to better track COVID-19's spread and report on cases and potential exposures. Conduent's disease surveillance and outbreak management platform – Maven (powered by AWS) – can be quickly deployed by healthcare organizations so they can begin performing "contact tracing" across entire regions securely and at scale. In the U.S., Conduent is waiving the software license fee for the Maven COVID-19 module through June 30, 2020, for qualified state and territorial
A message from Dave Clark, SVP Amazon World Wide Operations: Thank You Amazon Heroes
To all of our Amazon heroes on the floor, in the air, or behind the wheel—thank you.
How to use Alexa and Amazon Devices to stay informed and connected
We want to do everything we can to support customers during these unprecedented times and our teams are working to make Alexa and Amazon Devices (Kindle, Fire tablets, Echo, Fire TV, and more) even more helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.
Providing Music and Amazon Devices to hospital patients
Amazon Music and Amazon Devices are working with Musicians On Call to bring streaming music to hospital patients, as part of the organization's Music Pharmacy program. This program typically brings artists and volunteer musicians into hospitals for acoustic performances. While in-person visits are on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, patients will be able to stream Amazon Music Unlimited for free, on donated Fire 7 tablets.
In a teleconference with the World Health Organization, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos discusses the ways Amazon is helping during the COVID-19 pandemic
Amazon Web Services supports the new White House COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium
The White House launched the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium
to provide researchers with access to the most powerful high performance computing resources to help stop the virus. As part of the Consortium, AWS is offering research institutions and companies technical support and AWS service credits to advance research on COVID-19 diagnosis, treatment, and vaccine studies. Researchers and scientists working on time-critical projects can use AWS to instantly access virtually unlimited infrastructure capacity, as well as the latest technologies in compute, storage, and networking to accelerate results. Researchers can find out more on how to get started here.
How Amazon is helping customers get groceries
We've seen a large increase in people shopping online for groceries through Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market, and wanted to share how we're supporting our customers, caring for our teams, and expanding our deliveries with this increased demand. We've introduced enhanced cleanliness protocols in all our stores and facilities, social distancing guidelines for customers and employees, and more. We're also increasing capacity for delivery and pick-up options for Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market, and working around the clock with suppliers to get the items we know customers need back in stock. This is in addition to the increased pay for our associates. Find out more here.
Amazon providing Seattle-area quarantine patients with more than 250,000 essential items
Amazon is donating more than 250,000 critical items to patients in quarantine or recovering from COVID-19 across the Seattle area. Items include linens, towels, shelf-stable food, Amazon Devices, entertainment items, and other supplies. Amazon is also partnering with Bellevue LifeSpring, an organization providing services to children and families, to help those in need obtain essential items during the outbreak. Families in the Bellevue School District who can't reach food pick-up sites can shop online for eligible groceries, health products, and personal care items sold on Amazon and get them delivered directly to their doorstep. Watch more.
Amazon Future Engineer is supporting teachers and parents with at-home resources
While students experience classroom disruptions across the U.S., Amazon Future Engineer is providing access to a variety of free, online learning opportunities during the pandemic. Amazon Future Engineer is a childhood-to-career program aimed at increasing access to computer science education for children and adults from underserved and underrepresented communities. Find out more here.
Amazon Web Services helps the World Health Organization accelerate COVID-19 research
We are working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) to accelerate the effort to track the virus, understand its outbreak, and better contain its spread. AWS is supplying WHO with advanced cloud technologies and technical expertise. This includes building vast "data lakes" aggregating epidemiological country data and rapidly translating medical training videos into different languages.
Helping customers get involved with relief efforts
Customers can use Amazon.com to donate to charities helping those affected by COVID-19, including Feeding America, American Red Cross, and Save the Children. Find out more here, or just say, "Alexa, make a donation to Feeding America COVID-19 Response."
How Amazon prioritizes health and safety while fulfilling customer orders
Now more than ever, Amazon's fulfillment, delivery, and physical store networks play a critical role in serving customers. In these unprecedented times, we remain committed to the health and safety of our employees, partners, and customers. Read more.
Amazonians contribute to All In Seattle
Amazonians have joined Seattle community members to raise $27 million to help fund local nonprofits and charities through the All in Seattle initiative. Find out more.
Amazon supports the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund to help musicians
Amazon Music is contributing to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund to support music industry workers in need. MusiCares is the Recording Academy's charitable foundation, and its COVID-19 Relief Fund will support those affected by the unprecedented cancellation of music events and work opportunities during the pandemic. Read more.
We're vigorously combating price gouging
Amazon is taking important steps to keep prices fair and protect our customers from those exploiting the current crisis through price gouging. We have zero tolerance for this harmful practice and longstanding policies and systems to protect our customers. Find out what we're doing.
Amazon Care provides infrastructure and logistics support to the Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network
The Amazon Care team is providing specially-trained couriers to help deliver and pick up swab kits to people in the greater Seattle region who qualify for a study led by Public Health – Seattle & King County. The Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN) is a group of medical, public health, and research organizations working together to understand the spread of COVID-19 in the greater Seattle area. Responding to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 crisis is a community effort that requires support from both the private and public sectors. We are eager to leverage Amazon Care's infrastructure and logistics capabilities to support this local effort. Learn more.
Interview with Jay Carney on Amazon's COVID-19 response
Amazon SVP of Global Corporate Affairs, Jay Carney, talks about our global efforts to support communities during the pandemic, including hiring initiatives and efforts to keep employees healthy. Here is a recent interview on CBS with Gayle King.
A message to employees from our CEO and founder
Jeff Bezos sent the following email to all Amazon employees: "This isn't business as usual, and it's a time of great stress and uncertainty. It's also a moment in time when the work we're doing is its most critical. We've changed our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering essential items like household staples, sanitizers, baby formula, and medical supplies. We're providing a vital service to people everywhere, especially to those, like the elderly, who are most vulnerable. People are depending on us." Read the full email.
Launching the $20 million AWS Diagnostic Initiative to accelerate COVID-19 research
We are launching the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative—a program to support customers working on better, more accurate diagnostic solutions and promote better collaboration across organizations solving similar problems. As part of this, we are committing an initial investment of $20 million to accelerate diagnostic research, innovation, and development to speed our collective understanding and detection of COVID-19. The AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative begins with participation from 35 global research institutions, startups, and businesses focused on tackling this challenge. Full story.
Donating $1 million to support emergency response efforts in Washington, D.C.
Amazon has donated $1 million to kick-start emergency COVID-19 response efforts in the Washington D.C. area. The funds will benefit the four largest foundations supporting vulnerable populations impacted amid the pandemic—including hourly workers, people experiencing homelessness, and the elderly. Amazon is also providing cash and in-kind support to five food service providers in the region. Full story.
Adjusting grocery store hours to help the most vulnerable
Whole Foods Market is temporarily adjusting store hours to accommodate those most vulnerable to COVID-19. Customers who are age 60 and over in the U.S. and Canada, and age 70 and over in the UK, are invited to shop beginning one hour before the store opens to the general public under the new adjusted hours. We are setting aside this time to help these customers feel more comfortable shopping at our stores and get needed items in a less crowded environment.
Ongoing, enhanced cleaning in our physical stores
To help protect customers shopping in our physical retail stores, we've enhanced our daily cleaning procedures and are implementing additional nightly cleanings. We continue to educate employees on CDC guidance for maintaining healthy habits and are offering flexibility for employees who need to stay home, plus paid time off for those who are diagnosed with the virus.
Prioritizing essential items in our Operations network
As COVID-19 continues to spread, online shopping has increased, particularly for essential goods. To address this need and help ensure the safety of our associates, we've adjusted our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering higher-priority items. This will result in some of our delivery promises being longer than usual.
Customers can help others through No-Rush Shipping
While customers can continue to buy any in-stock product in our store, those ordering non-essential items can help others by choosing No-Rush Shipping when available. Selecting the No-Rush option helps us serve customers with the most critical needs first because we can consolidate more orders and make fewer stops in neighborhoods throughout the week.
Hiring 100,000 people to help meet demand and support existing employees
We're hiring 100,000 new full and part-time employees across the U.S. in our fulfillment centers and delivery network to meet the surge in demand from people relying on Amazon's services during this stressful time. We encourage people across the hospitality, restaurant, and travel industries who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis to work with us until their previous employer can hire them back. Learn more.
Increasing pay in the U.S., UK, Canada, and many EU countries
Our employees in fulfillment centers, transportation operations, stores or those making deliveries are playing an essential role for customers during this crisis. We are recognizing this amazing work with pay increases. Qualifying employees will receive an additional $2 USD per hour in the U.S., C$2 per hour in Canada, £2 per hour in the UK, and approximately €2 per hour in many EU countries. Update April 24: We’ve extended the increased hourly pay outlined below through May 16. We are also extending double overtime pay in the U.S. and Canada. These extensions increase our total investment in pay during COVID-19 to nearly $700 million for our hourly employees and partners. In addition, we are providing flexibility with leave of absence options, including expanding the policy to cover COVID-19 circumstances, such as high-risk individuals or school closures. We continue to see heavy demand during this difficult time and the team is doing incredible work for our customers and the community. Read more about how we’re taking care of employees.
Customers can select unattended delivery options
Customers ordering delivery from Prime Now, Amazon Fresh, and Whole Foods Market have the option to select "unattended delivery" during checkout if they prefer not to come into contact with their delivery driver. Customers can specify the drop-off location as part of the check-out process as well. Orders not containing alcohol are eligible for unattended delivery.
Providing teachers and students with online STEM courses
Starting today, the Amazon Future Engineer program will provide free access to computer science courses for students and teachers in the United States. These courses are for independent learners from 6th to 12th grade or teachers working remotely with this age group. Find this content and more on the Amazon Future Engineer website.
Establishing the $25 million Amazon Relief Fund
We've established a $25 million Amazon Relief Fund to support our independent delivery service partners and their drivers, Amazon Flex participants, and seasonal employees under financial distress during the pandemic. All of these groups can apply for grants equaling up to two weeks of pay if diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine. Read more.
Supporting employees affected by COVID with paid time off
All Amazon employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine will receive up to two weeks of pay. This ensures employees have the time they need to return to good health without the worry of lost income. This is in addition to unlimited unpaid time off for all hourly employees through the end of April. Full story.
New $5 million fund for small businesses in Amazon's Seattle neighborhood
We created a $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund to help Seattle-area small businesses during this economically challenging time. The fund will support businesses with fewer than 50 employees or less than $7 million in annual revenue. To qualify for a grant, businesses should have a physical presence within a few blocks of Amazon's Regrade or South Lake Union offices, be open to the general public, and rely on foot traffic for customers. Additionally, we are subsidizing two full months of rent for tenants in Amazon-owned buildings. Full story.
Amazon donates $1 million to COVID-19 Response Fund
We've contributed $1 million to a COVID-19 Response Fund to rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations at the front lines of the Puget Sound region's COVID-19 outbreak. The fund, which is hosted by the Seattle Foundation, will provide flexible resources to nonprofits and community-based organizations working with those disproportionately affected by the pandemic and the economic consequences of the outbreak. Initial grants will support organizations helping those without sick leave or health insurance, medically fragile individuals, and healthcare workers. Full story.
Amazon employees recommended to work from home
In light of ongoing international COVID-19 developments, we now recommend all employees who can work from home to do so. Employees and partners whose work requires being in their workplace have access to all of their usual paid and unpaid time-off benefits.We are continuing to pay all hourly staff who work for service providers—from food-service workers to security guards to janitorial staff—supporting our global offices around the world.
Taking action to protect our employees and communities
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we've taken steps to protect the health of our employees and communities. We've canceled large events, moved our annual shareholders meeting online, and paused tours of our fulfillment centers and headquarters. Additionally, we've transitioned to virtual job interviews where possible and increased the frequency of cleaning for all facilities globally, ensuring the regular sanitization of high-traffic surfaces like door handles, stairway handrails, elevator buttons, lockers, and touch screens.