Thousands of Amazon staff wrongly told to self-isolate after false positive Covid tests

16 February 2021, 17:57

Thousands of Amazon employees were wrongly told to self-isolate
Thousands of Amazon employees were wrongly told to self-isolate. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Thousands of Amazon employees were wrongly told to self-isolate after wrongly being told they had tested positive for Covid-19, the Government has confirmed.

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) said that on Saturday 3,853 staff members at the retail giant received notifications from NHS Test and Trace telling them to isolate after their test results came back positive.

But thousands of these results were wrong, although it is not clear how the mistake was made.

No staff members who tested positive for Covid were told they were negative.

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Amazon has operated using a workplace testing system using PCR tests since autumn 2020 and reports cases to Public Health England on a daily basis.

All employees who received incorrect results were "rapidly" notified of the error, the DHSC said.

A spokesman for the department said: "On Saturday, some Amazon staff members who tested negative for Covid-19 received notifications from NHS Test and Trace to say they have tested positive and asking them to self-isolate.

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"Working closely with Amazon, NHS Test and Trace rapidly notified affected employees to let them know they did not need to isolate."

The spokesman added: "NHS Test and Trace has the capacity to process over 700,000 tests a day from more than 800 test centres and mobile units, with the vast majority of people reporting no issues with the process."