Exclusive: Bucks Postal Worker Confirmed to Have COVID-19, Official Says.
A U.S Postal Employee working in Bucks County was confirmed by postal officials to have COVID-19.
The U.S. Postal Service learned that one of its Carversville PA Post Office employees recently tested positive for the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), said Spokesperson Ray V. Daiutolo Sr.
“The safety and well-being of our employees is one of our highest priorities. To ensure the health of our employees, we are continuing to follow recommended strategies from the CDC and local health departments. We also continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation on a nationwide basis” he said.
Lower Bucks Source was informed of the postal employee through news tips to the publication late Sunday night after exclusively reporting about a Target employee who also tested positive for the illness.
The Carversville Post Office is located inside the Carversville General Store which is just outside of Lahaska. Its an old fashioned post office with a retail window and offers mail delivery to 100-150 PO Boxes with no mail carriers. It shares employees with the Point Pleasant office, multiple sources said.
Communications received by LBS from the news tip sources said management told postal employees on Thursday, March 26 that a mail clerk at the Carversville office had tested positive but was not seen as threat because the clerk did not work the previous week.
The office itself was not closed since employees were told about the staff member contracting the virus and the office does not have a custodian or hired cleaner assigned to it, the sources said.
To our knowledge nothing has been formally told to the box holders or customers about the employee testing positive or possible exposure, two sources with intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the post office said.
“Both the CDC and the World Health Organization have indicated that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 can spread through the mail. In addition, both the Surgeon General and the Director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases have indicated that there is currently no evidence that the coronavirus is being spread through the mail,” Postal spokesperson Daiutolo said.
The office has been taking the proper steps to assure everyone’s safety but that is mostly from employee diligence. When we try to order supplies through the postal service we are denied due to supplies being sold out from our distributors, the sources told LBS in a second round of communications.
“We were told sternly after a news article surfaced last week about the Levittown Post Office possibly being exposed not to speak to customers about the issue and direct them to usps.com or 1-800-ASK-USPS for questions and if the media were to inquire send them to the media relations person for the Philadelphia District,” said a third source.
The story the two sources referenced was published on March 20 by Gannet Media in The Intellgencer.
The report alleged postal workers walked out of a postal facility in the Levittown section of Bristol Township and operations were shut down for the day.
Daiutolo told The Intellgencer that operations at Post Offices in the Philadelphia area were normal, disputing claims of a postal worker at the Levittown facility testing positive for the illness.
The postal service has so far experienced only minor operational impacts in the United States as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Postal officials wrote in a statement on the postal website.
On Tuesday, a fourth source continued disputing the postal services claims that no one at the Levittown office was diagnosed with COVID-19.
“That’s simply not the truth at all” the source said. The source refused to provide additional information, but insisted repeatedly an employee at the Levittown section Post Office has the illness.
“If I disclose any additional information it would reveal my identity and I’m not prepared to do that at this time” the source said in a last exchange Tuesday evening.
The original three sources for the Carversville Post Office said they wanted to remain anonymous out of “fear of retaliation” in order to provide the “important information” that residents need to be made aware of.
Although we are not on the front-lines of this pandemic we are still working to serve the public through all of this and would hope that our safety as workers was still a priority to our employer, they said.
It must be noted the Post Office provided their response to Lower Bucks Source on Monday. The story was not published due to additional information provided by a fourth source. Moreover, as Daiutolo pointed out, as of publication there is no evidence at this time that coronavirus can be spread by mail.
Scientists say the main way of transmission for the virus is through tiny droplets jumping from a person with the illness to a new host through coughing or sneezing.