Pittsfield officials said Friday that four local post office employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and that the US Postal Service has failed to cooperate with contact tracers and state health officials in their attempts to notify close contacts and mitigate further spread.
The four positive cases were identified at the post office at 212 Fenn St., with exposure dates beginning Sept. 28, the city said in a statement.
City officials said they felt obligated to share information about the cluster given the USPS’s lack of cooperation in identifying close contacts of the virus.
“Our local contact tracing team and Health department have made many attempts to work with this organization . . . to identify those who have had close contact with the cases,” the post read. “We have been unsuccessful due to the lack of cooperation and information from the United States Postal Office.”
The city noted that the risk of exposure at the post office is no greater than the risk of encountering the virus within the broader community — but officials also emphasized the risk that comes with USPS’s alleged failure to comply with health protocols.
Officials said “it is important to be aware that the USPS location 212 Fenn St. is not providing requested information to the city’s contact tracing team. The lack of cooperation and information poses a risk to the community. Collaboration between workplaces and the city’s contact tracing team is crucial in slowing transmission.”
City officials said they will continue to work closely with the Department of Health in light of the recent cluster, as well as continuing to seek cooperation from the post office.
The USPS did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday night.
Katie Redefer can be reached at email@example.com.