The sign at the checkout area in a Whole Foods Market reminds shoppers to respect social distancing guidelines by waiting behind the taped lines on the floor. | Shutterstock

Plus, Subway insists its bread is still bread, no matter what Ireland says, and more news to start your day

Amazon insists that approximately 20K is not as many infections as there could have been

On Thursday, Amazon released a report on the number of front-line employees, both at Amazon and at Whole Foods Markets, who contracted COVID-19 from March through September. Overall, there were 19,816 out of 1.37 million employees with “confirmed or presumed” cases, a positivity rate of 1.44{ab5f2c9c740426ae4c9b4912729231eec62bb8d7f7c15dd2b52ffa544e442110}. However, Amazon insists this is a good thing, because — based on company analysis — far more people should have gotten it. “If the rate among Amazon and Whole Foods Market employees were the same as it is for the general population rate, we estimate that we would have seen 33,952 cases among our workforce,” Amazon said in a statement. “In reality, 19,816 employees have tested positive or been presumed positive for COVID-19 — 42{ab5f2c9c740426ae4c9b4912729231eec62bb8d7f7c15dd2b52ffa544e442110} lower than the expected number.”

For months, Whole Foods and Amazon workers and labor organizers have been criticizing and protesting the company’s response to COVID-19. Whole Foods Workers held a “Sick Out” on March 31 to demand guaranteed paid leave, health care for part-time workers, and a shut down of any Whole Foods location where an employee tests positive for COVID-19. Amazon’s report did not specify between infection rates among Amazon workers versus Whole Foods workers, nor does it include third-party delivery drivers. Is also didn’t count states where is has fewer than 1,000 employees. How comforting.

In other news…

  • Singapore Airlines will no longer do those absurd “flights to nowhere,” but in a differently absurd move, you can now just pay money to go on the airplane for dinner. [CNBC]
  • Yesterday the Irish Supreme Court ruled Subway bread wasn’t legally bread, and today Subway is like “is too!” [RB]
  • An artist dumped 60,000 “fresh, unwanted” carrots outside a building at the University of London as a commentary on food waste and the city’s connection to the country. [Modern Farmer]
  • The food box program has already been considered a mess, but now Trump is including letters in each box. This is a possible violation of the Hatch Act, and volunteers at food banks are removing the letters. [WaPo]
  • Drive-thrus are getting slower because they are so popular. [NBC]
  • Francis Lam is now the Editor-in-Chief and VP at Clarkson Potter. [Twitter]

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