Almost 1,600 Postal Workers in DC Region Tested Positive for COVID-19; 7 Have Died

He said one of his concerns is the time it takes for the agency to reveal when a positive case surfaces.

“The contact tracing is, it can be slow at times,” he said. “There’s situations where there is this contact, there’s a case and the contact tracing is done a week after the person is out of the building. My understanding is that they are kind of short staffed. They’re overwhelmed with the contact tracing. There’s a backlog of it, I believe.”

Some of those delays could be due to a shortage of Postal Service nurses who conduct the contact tracing. There was a 21% vacancy rate last year, according to a November audit from the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Postal Service. The report said “there was no national hiring strategy for these critical roles.”

“Being in the building a week after the person that was exposed in the building, that makes us vulnerable. We don’t know who else that person had come in contact with and who they have come in contact with. So, it makes us feel anxious, vulnerable, angry, “ said Brown.


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