The U.S. Postal Service is piloting several initiatives to better protect its workforce from the spread of the novel coronavirus, including temperature readings and widespread testing at postal facilities.
The mailing agency has endured a significant impact from the pandemic, with 2,400 employees testing or presumed positive for COVID-19. It has quarantined 17,000 employees due to exposure to the virus, or nearly 3% of its 630,000 workers. About 70% of those employees have since been cleared to return to work. Sixty postal workers have died from symptoms related to the virus.
USPS is now working with its unions to begin a “proof of concept” for taking temperatures of employees when they report to work, either once they come inside, before they enter or in their cars. Employees will only have their temperatures read on a voluntary basis and will be sent home if the reading is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher until the fever recedes. The agency will pilot the effort at three facilities in Virginia and one in Oklahoma City.
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