Nearly 4,000 Amazon staff were incorrectly told they had Covid with many sent home to self-isolate after £22bn ‘world beating’ NHS Test and Trace system sent them WRONG alert
- Amazon uses PCR tests on staff at work as part of its own private scheme
- Staff told by firm they tested negative before Amazon passed data to NHS
- NHS then wrongly informed staff via Test and Trace app they’d tested positive
How NHS Test and Trace bungle led to 3,853 Amazon workers getting told they had Covid
Workers are given PCR tests at work by Amazon
February 12 – Workers told by Amazon that they tested negative
Amazon sends test data to NHS Test and Trace
February 13 – 3,853 receive Test and Trace app notifications urging them to self-isolate
Concerned workers phone NHS hotline
February 13 (evening) – App says positives were due to ‘system error’ and they actually tested negative
Nearly 4,000 Amazon workers were wrongly told they had Covid by the NHS Test and Trace service in the latest bungle for the ‘world-beating’ system.
The retailer uses PCR tests on staff at work as part of its own private scheme before sending the data to NHS Test and Trace.
Thousands of employees were tested at work and on February 12 told they had tested negative by Amazon.
However, after firms shared the data with the NHS, 3,853 workers received notifications on their Test and Trace apps on February 13 saying they had tested positive and had to self-isolate.
This sparked thousands of worried calls to the NHS hotline from employees querying why their results had apparently changed.
Later that evening the workers then received a new notification from their NHS apps confirming they had actually tested negative and blaming what happened on a ‘system error’.
MailOnline has asked the Department of Health to explain what caused the error.
Amazon has also been asked by MailOnline why it shared private staff data with Test and Trace but is yet to receive a response.
One call centre employee, working for a private company of behalf of the NHS, said thousands of confused staff had got in touch querying their results.
The staff member, who asked to stay anonymous, said their team alone received 500 calls from worried Amazon staff on Saturday.
Amazon uses PCR tests on staff at work as part of its own private scheme before sending the data to NHS Test and Trace
‘It’s not only affected their staff, but the families and households of their staff as well,’ they told the BBC.
‘Partners and children of Amazon staff who were added as contacts, told bosses they had to isolate and have lost income.’
Boris Johnson has repeatedly described the government’s testing programme as ‘world-beating’ but it has been plagued by problems, including missing positive cases.
No staff who tested positive for Covid at Amazon were told they tested negative, it is understood.
The Department of Health said: ‘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.
‘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.
‘Working closely with Amazon, NHS Test and Trace rapidly notified affected employees to let them know they did not need to isolate.’
Amazon said: ‘We’ve communicated with our associates and partners to support them with the appropriate action steps, as instructed by the NHS.’
Thousands of employees were tested at work and on February 12 told they had tested negative by Amazon. File photo