Amazon began banning sales of medical protective gear to the public on its e-commerce site on April 1, Recode reports. Only governments and hospitals will be able to purchase N95 and surgical masks, facial shields, surgical gloves and gowns, and large-volume sanitizers from the online retailer. The move comes amid an acute shortage of protective medical equipment at hospitals. The same day news of the restriction broke, reports said the CDC plans to reverse its public guidelines on masks, advising everyone to wear one but to reserve N95s for medical workers.
Amazon also announced it would distribute masks to its own warehouse and Whole Foods workers in the U.S. and Europe and begin checking staff’s temperatures, Reuters reports. Workers in at least 10 warehouses across the country have tested positive for COVID-19, and some walked off the job this week to highlight what they say are inadequate measures taken by the company to protect its workforce. Anyone registering more than a 100.4 degree temperature will be sent home, according to Reuters.