Mail Handlers and postal workers from around the country continue to courageously perform essential federal service under the extraordinary circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
When I last reported to you regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) on April 28, 2020, there were 1,234 postal workers who were confirmed to be COVID-19 positive and 847 employees presumed to be positive for a total of 2,081 infected employees. The latest numbers (as of May 6, 2020) show 1,100 postal workers who have tested positive and 624 employees who have been presumed to be positive for a total of 1,724 infected employees. The number of Mail Handlers who tested positive is 199. Unfortunately, 54 postal workers have died as a result of COVID-19 including 4 Mail Handlers. The numbers certainly seem to be “flattening.” More and more postal employees are returning to work as the availability rates in many postal installations continue to rise. This does not mean we can let our guard down. We must remain vigilant and continue to protect ourselves and our co-workers. The “flattening” of the infection rate proves that the protocols put in place are working. We must continue to follow these protocols especially those concerning social distancing and the wearing of face coverings and masks.
NPMHU representatives continue to meet on a regular basis with their counterparts in postal management to discuss the Postal Service’s response to the outbreak of the virus and to ensure that the proper protocols are in place during ever-changing circumstances. The NPMHU, as well as the APWU, NALC and NRLCA, have been in discussions with senior Postal Management to implement a “temperature taking” process in postal installations. The NPMHU feels that as more and more postal employees are returning to work, more protections must be put in place. The details such as the exact temperature threshold, procedures when an employee exceeds that threshold, and return to work protocols are still being finalized. Discussions are also taking place about which installations will implement “temperature taking” procedures. The Postal Service has informed the NPMHU and the other postal unions that they will soon be testing the temperature taking equipment that they plan to use in the following facilities:
- Merrifield P & DC
- Oklahoma City P & DC
- Merrifield Carrier Annex
- Fairfax, Va