It took some time, but postal officials confirmed that at least one employee in Brooklyn was infected with the coronavirus. In a statement received Friday, April 3 USPS Strategic Communications Specialist Elizabeth Najduch stated “The U.S. Postal Service has learned that an employee at the Brooklyn, MI Post Office tested positive for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“We are in the process of reaching out to the local public health office and we will follow the guidance they provide. We believe the risk is low for employees who work at the Brooklyn, MI Post Office, but we will keep our employees apprised as new information and guidance becomes available.”
The Exponent first published a story on April 1 on its sister website, IrishHillsLive.com, that two people from the Brooklyn branch were suspected of being infected. At that time, local and regional officials would not confirm our report, which relied on two individuals who wished to remain nameless.
Najduch said in her report that the reason they were careful in releasing information was a matter of confidentiality.
“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 individuals who gave us the information published April 1 say that two people from the Brooklyn branch had contracted the virus. Najduch’s statement mentions only one.
Considered a vital service, the post office will stay open.
“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).
She also states that both the CDC and the World Health Organization 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.
“Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution, we also enhanced and supplemented current cleaning protocols based on CDC guidelines using disinfectants across the facility,” she said.
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