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9 employees at the USPS Valdosta North Side Station test positive for COVID-19

Posted at 7:48 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 19:48:08-04

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — A spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service says nine employees at the Valdosta North Side Station tested positive for the coronavirus.

On Tuesday, the agency announced they are in the process of reaching out to the local public health office and will follow the guidance they provide.

We believe the risk is low for employees who work at the Valdosta North Side Station, but we will keep our employees apprised as new information and guidance becomes available.
United States Postal Service

On April 2, 2020 the USPS issued their "General Statement on COVID-19":

To reduce health risks for our employees and customers and to safeguard our operational and business continuity, the 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 our Postal Service supply chain. We also have opened up local purchasing authorities and sourcing options so that our employees can access additional supplies within the communities they serve. We have expanded our national sourcing of supplies and services to ensure that increasing demands are met.

Reinforcing workplace behaviors to ensure that contact among our employees and with our customers reflects the best guidance regarding healthy interactions, social distancing, and risk minimization. We have implemented measures at retail facilities and mail processing facilities to ensure appropriate social distancing, including through signage, floor tape, and “cough/sneeze” barriers. We have 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 our cleaning policies to ensure that all cleaning occurs in a manner consistent with CDC guidance relating to this pandemic.

Updated our leave policies to allow liberal use of leave and to therefore give our 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. We have entered into agreements with our 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 those 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. With a longstanding history of quickly adapting its operational plans to changing conditions, the Postal Service maintains steady communications with mailers during natural disasters or other events that require emergency responses and advises residential customers and business mailers with regard to postal facility disruptions that may impact delivery in an affected area via its USPS Service Alerts webpage.

This is a developing story.