Amazon is attempting to control the spread of coronavirus among its workers, with the latest tactic being to install thermal cameras in its warehouses.
Initially, Amazon decided to use thermometers to take the temperature of workers as well as issuing them with a face mask to work with. However, as Reuters reports, Amazon realized it’s more effective to install thermal cameras that can detect individuals with an elevated body temperature suggesting they have a fever. Another benefit of using the cameras is they require much less contact than having someone take each worker’s temperature.
So far, “at least six warehouses” have had the cameras installed and there’s plans to add them to worker entrances at Whole Foods stores, too. Anyone detected as feverish by the cameras will subsequently have their temperature taken to get a more accurate reading and determine if they need to go home and self isolate.
Amazon workers speaking anonymously have stated the cameras allow for a much faster process than the individual temperature checks they replace. It also means nobody has to wait in line close to other workers, which would increase the risk of infection.
How quickly Amazon can deploy the cameras to all of its warehouses and Whole Foods locations will be determined by supply. As you can imagine, thermal cameras are in high demand right now, and Amazon has over 175 fulfillment centers in the US alone, as well as 487 Whole Foods stores. Hopefully the company gets its planned testing process up and running quickly as another way of limiting the infection rate.