LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nearly 150 U.S. Postal Service employees across the Las Vegas metro area have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been suspected of having the virus since the agency began tracking cases, the I-Team has learned.
In all, 115 confirmed cases were reported with 28 other cases listed as unconfirmed, according to data obtained by the I-Team. Late Tuesday, the I-Team also confirmed a new case of COVID-19 at the Henderson post office.
Last week, the I-Team reported at least 18 employees at the Postal Service’s center on Sunset Road in Las Vegas have tested positive for COVID-19 since the end of September. Documents show the center has seen at least 48 confirmed cases. Many of those cases at the Sunset facility have been reported since July and August, with some reported as recent as last week.
The postal center sorts mail and packages before they are delivered. More than 700 people work at the center. The administrative offices, which are based at the same location, have seen at least 16 confirmed cases, documents show.
At least 22 mail carriers have tested positive for COVID-19, according to documents, with clusters of cases reported across the following 14 post offices: Crossroads, East Las Vegas, Emerald, Garside, Huntridge, James C. Brown Jr., King, Paradise Valley, Red Rock Vista, Silverado, Spring Valley, Summerlin, Sunrise and Winterwood.
Since the I-Team’s first report about an 18-person COVID outbreak at the Sunset center, several current USPS employees have contacted the I-Team expressing concern about the spread.
None wanted to talk on camera for fear of losing their job, but several questioned the agency’s mask policy and when employees are alerted to outbreaks.
In August, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy briefly spoke about COVID-positive employees during an August congressional hearing.
“Our employees are experiencing the COVID pandemic also and we have a significant issue with employee availability in many, many parts of the country that can lead to delays of delivery of mail,” DeJoy said.
A task force is keeping track of cases and outbreaks, DeJoy told Congress, but the I-Team’s request for information was forwarded to the Department of Labor, which investigates federal facilities. The I-Team previously reported OSHA was investigating the outbreak at the Sunset facility.
Postal Service officials declined to be interviewed, but shared videos of examples for mask wearing and social distancing both inside their buildings and when mail is delivered.
It is unclear when employees who work behind the scenes were required to wear masks. Nevada’s mask policy went into effect in June, coincidentally, the same day the facility reported its first COVID case.
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