EL PASO, TEXAS- Earlier today San Eli News was sent screenshots from a few postal employees at the Boeing Post Office. I began looking into this and contacted the United States Postal Service.
The Post Office in question, the main facility for El Paso, is on Boeing between Airway and Hawkins.
Their reply follows:
Good evening, Steven. Below is USPS’ statement in response to your inquiry. Thank you for your email. Please stay safe.
The U.S. Postal Service has learned that an employee at the El Paso Processing & Distribution Center (P&DC) tested positive for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
This has been confirmed by the El Paso Department of Public Health and we will follow the guidance they provide. We believe the risk is low for employees who work at the El Paso P&DC, but we will keep our employees apprised as new information and guidance becomes available. The employee did not work with the public.
As you may know, under the Rehabilitation Act and the Privacy Act, specific employee medical information must be kept confidential and may only be shared in very limited circumstances. Therefore, the Postal Service cannot share the name of the employee who tested positive for COVID-19 or further specifics of his or her medical condition.
The safety and well-being of our employees is our highest priority. 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).
In addition, both the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html) and the World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses) as well as the U.S. Surgeon General have indicated that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 can spread through the mail and packages.
What worries me is that the public has not been made aware of this positive test. Other screenshots showed that the employee had had contact with customers who visited that station.
San Eli News has learned that the post office was closed for two hours and disinfected. Employees were also provided small cups of hand sanitizing gel to use.
According to the CDC, COVID-19 can live on cardboard for up to twenty-four (24) hours and on paper, depending on the strain, from a few minutes to five days.
Get the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic here. The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 mainly spreads from person to person. When someone who is infected coughs or sneezes, they send droplets containing the virus into the air. A healthy person can then breathe in those droplets.
My concern is that this employ, while they may have been asymptomatic, may have had contact with elderly customers.
Should the public have been made aware of this? Yes. The USPS should have informed the public of the timeframe this postal employee was working the counter so customers could a) self-isolate; b) monitor any symptoms they may develop.
If you need to go out, including a visit to the Post Office, be sure to follow all social-distancing guidelines and proper hygiene.
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