Amazon to extend 'work from home' policy for eligible employees through October

(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

SEATTLE -- Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon is extending its work from home plan for eligible employees through October.

According to The Seattle Times, the retail giant told its corporate employees on Thursday that they “are welcome to (work from home) 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,” an Amazon spokesperson told the Times.

Many Amazon employees have been working from home since March.  The Seattle-based company has more than 50,000 employees in the region.

With Amazon campuses shut down, Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood has been eerily quiet compared to the usual hustle and bustle.

It's been more than 100 days since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Washington state. As of April 30, the state confirmed more than 14,000 cases with about 800 deaths.

Earlier Thursday, Amazon said all customers at its Whole Foods locations would be required to wear masks while shopping.

Gov. Jay Inslee said Wednesday the state has to see more progress in several areas, including the daily number of new coronavirus cases and deaths, before social distancing restrictions can safely be lifted.

At a news conference, Inslee confirmed the state’s stay-at-home order that was enacted March 23 would remain in place beyond May 4 and said he would have more details soon “on the phased-in approach about how we will open our economy in a safe way.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.