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Amazon takes coronavirus precautions, shifts some job interviews online

Thomas Barrabi

Amazon pushed back on a report Friday that it has canceled all onsite interviews due to coronavirus, but the e-commerce giant is still taking precautionary steps to protect employees from the outbreak.

The e-commerce giant asked a job candidate last week to disclose whether they had traveled to mainland China within the last 14 days, Gizmodo reported citing the unnamed candidate. Later, Amazon purportedly scrapped the in-person interview request and asked the candidate to attend a virtual meeting via a video chat service.

“We are not to bring any candidates onsite in person for interviews due to coronavirus concerns,” Amazon said in an email to the candidate, according to the report.

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Amazon has not canceled all on-site job interviews, a company spokesperson told FOX Business. Rather, company recruiters were informed to shift the interview process for some roles from in-person interviews to virtual video conferencing using Amazon Chime.

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It’s unclear how many job openings or departments were affected by the change. Amazon is the second-largest U.S. employer. The company has nearly 40,000 open job listings.

Amazon confirmed that it has asked employees to avoid non-essential travel for the time being, as Gizmodo reported.

“We're asking employees to defer non-essential travel during this time,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement.

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, originated in China and has spread rapidly to other countries. More than 83,000 people have been infected and more than 2,800 people have died from the virus to date.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average entered correction territory, losing more than 3,000 points this week as coronavirus concerns spooked investors.

Earlier Friday, Amazon joined other tech firms in pulling out of the annual Game Developers Conference in San Diego as a precaution.

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