At least 4 staffers in ~ the short article office in Pittsfield have tested optimistic for COVID-19 because Sept. 28, follow to a notice from the city"s health and wellness Department, which quote a "lack of cooperation" indigenous officials at the Fenn Street facility.

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STEPHANIE ZOLLSHAN — THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE

Citing a “lack the cooperation” native officials in ~ the post office, Pittsfield public representative alerted the general public Friday afternoon that at least four employees the the Fenn Street United states Postal company facility have actually tested confident for COVID-19 in current weeks.

In a statement exit Friday and in interviews through The Eagle, the Pittsfield wellness Department claimed the post office had hindered contact tracing and also put the community at risk, which made it necessary for the city to notify the public around the cluster.


All four recent U.S. Postal company cases have taken place due to the fact that Sept. 28, according to the city.

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“The danger of exposure from individuals existing at the short article office on these days is no higher than the hazard of contracting the virus in the general community,” the declare said. “However, it is necessary to be conscious that the USPS place 212 Fenn St. Is not offering requested info to the city’s call tracing team. The lack of cooperation and information poses a risk to the community.”

Interim wellness Director Andy Cambi told The Eagle the the city is investigating whether extr cases in the ar can it is in linked ago to the USPS cluster, and, if so, exactly how many.

He claimed that the call tracing process has been significantly more an overwhelming because USPS has actually refused to occupational with city officials.

Pittsfield Postmaster Stefanie Curry and also the Massachusetts room of Public health and wellness did not immediately respond to requests for talk about Friday afternoon.

Health officials claimed they were made aware of cases at the post office and also sought information from USPS as component of the common contact tracing process. Cambi claimed the office refused to provide information, such as work-related schedules and also the surname of coworkers, i beg your pardon would permit the city to figure out close contact of the infected employees.

Cambi claimed he met v Curry on Tuesday yet that she refused to administer any information about the positive cases to the city – consisting of whether there are added employee cases that local wellness officials do not recognize about.


“They declared that they have actually their very own policies and also that they are not compelled to collaborate with local boards the health,” claimed Cambi. “They go not want to cooperate through us. Us let them know we’re no looking to adjust their policies, we’re just looking come make sure the neighborhood is mindful of any type of positive situations in the organization, because their employees communicate with the community and also are members that the community.”

Cambi claimed that that believed, based on his conversation with the postmaster, that it was most likely the Pittsfield write-up office had actually failed come report COVID-19 cases to public health officials transparent the whole pandemic.

“They proclaimed that their policy is not to report come us,” the said.

According to Cambi, the city heard complaints that an employee claimed to have been said to go into work if exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. However he claimed that the city had actually no way to verify the allegation or get much more information from USPS and also cited again a “lack that cooperation”.

Russ Evans, president of the American Postal workers Union neighborhood 497 in Springfield, told The Eagle the the union remained in the middle of a grievance procedure related come COVID-19 in ~ the Pittsfield post office and also could no comment.

Pittsfield officials claimed the city put out the release about the cluster after receiving guidance native the department of windy Health.

“This was no a decision taken lightly,” said Pittsfield windy Nurse Manager Kayla Donnelly. “If we need someone’s help, particularly an organization that has so much call with the public, and also they’re no willing to administer information that we need, we have to do other to protect the public.”

Donnelly stated at the very least one USPS main cited HIPAA top top refusing to share information, in spite of the reality that HIPAA in fact enables disclosure to public health authorities once the situation involves communicable illness such together COVID-19.

Cambi stated the city will proceed to seek USPS’ teamwork in the contact tracing process.

The city’s news release encouraged civilization to monitor CDC COVID-19 indict when communicating with Pittsfield USPS employees. Cambi said city inhabitants should continue normal precautions: social distancing, wearing masks, watching hands and checking themselves for symptoms.

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Throughout the pandemic, reporting by the news organization ProPublica has presented repeated failures by the United says Postal Office to defend workers nationwide, consisting of erratic or nonexistent call tracing in some cases.