Three USPS employees at Pine Mountain post office test positive for COVID-19
Published 7:46 am Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Three U.S. Postal Service employees at the post office in Pine Mountain have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a statement from USPS.
“We are in the process of reaching out to the local public health office and will follow the guidance they provide,” USPS said in a statement. “We believe the risk is low for employees who work at the Pine Mountain, GA, Post Office, but we will keep our employees apprised as new information and guidance becomes available.”
Citing the Rehabilitation Act and the Privacy Act, USPS noted it could not share any additional information about the employees who tested positive for COVID-19, including their medical condition.
“The safety and well-being of our employees is our highest priority,” the statement read. “To ensure the health of our employees, we are continuing to follow recommended guidance and strategies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”
The Pine Mountain post office remains fully operational. USPS notes that the CDC, the World Health Organization, as well as the Surgeon General have indicated that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail.
To reduce health risks for its employees and customers and to safeguard its operational and business continuity, the United States Postal Service is doing the following:
- Ensuring millions of masks, gloves and cleaning and sanitizing product are available and distributed to more than 30,000 locations every day through the Postal Service supply chain. USPS has also opened up local purchasing authorities and sourcing options so that employees can access additional supplies within the communities they serve. USPS has also expanded its national sourcing of supplies and services to ensure that increasing demands are met.
- Reinforcing workplace behaviors to ensure that contact among employees and with customers reflects the best guidance regarding healthy interactions, social distancing, and risk minimization. USPS said it has implemented measures at retail facilities and mail processing facilities to ensure appropriate social distancing, including through signage, floor tape, and “cough/sneeze” barriers. USPS has changed delivery procedures to eliminate the requirement that customers sign our Mobile Delivery Devices for delivery. For increased safety, employees will politely ask the customer to step back a safe distance or close the screen door/door so that they may leave the item in the mail receptacle or appropriate location by the customer door.
- Updated cleaning policies to ensure that all cleaning occurs in a manner consistent with CDC guidance relating to this pandemic.
- Updated leave policies to allow liberal use of leave and to employees the ability to stay home whenever they feel sick, must provide dependent care, or any other qualifying factor under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. USPS has entered into agreements with its unions to provide 80 hours of paid leave to non-career employees for issues related to COVID-19, and have expanded the definition of sick leave for dependent care for covered employees to deal with the closures of primary and secondary schools across the country.
- Expanded the use of telework for employees who are able to perform their jobs remotely.
- Issuing a daily cadence of employee talks, articles, videos, and other communications to ensure employees have the latest information and guidance.
- Leveraging localized continuity of operations plans that can be employed in the case of emergencies to help ensure that the nation’s postal system continues to function for the American people.