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.
The COVID-19 reports issued by the Postal Service on October 1, 2020 showed 1,872 postal workers who had tested positive and 599 employees who had been presumed to be positive for a total of 2,471 infected employees. The number of postal employees in quarantine were 4,452. Just 1 month later (November 2, 2020) the latest reports are extremely concerning. They show that there are 2,618 postal workers who are confirmed to be COVID-19 positive and 981 employees presumed to be positive for a total of 3,596 infected employees. The numbers reflected an increase of almost 46% in infected postal employees over that one-month period. The number of postal employees in quarantine is 4,479. Unfortunately, at least 97 postal workers have died because of COVID-19, including 4 Mail Handlers. We are almost 8 months into this pandemic and 31 states are showing major increases in their COVID numbers. While the numbers in the Northeast and East continue to stabilize, the numbers in other parts of the country, especially in those jurisdictions where face covering and social distancing policies are not strictly enforced, are worsening at a disturbing rate. The availability rates in many postal installations continue to create staffing issues.
This means that this crisis is far from over. The numbers are getting worse; they are not getting better despite what some of our elected officials are saying. There is no real end in sight. Conditions will only worsen as temperatures begin to drop and more people are driven indoors. We must remain vigilant and continue to protect ourselves and our co-workers. The stabilizing of the infection rate in the Northeast and East proves that the protocols put in place work. We must continue to follow these protocols, especially those concerning social distancing and the wearing of face coverings and masks.
Social distancing applies to all postal workplaces including plants, on the docks and in lunch and break rooms.
Complying with these protocols will protect yourself as well as your co-workers.