Nfld. & Labrador

Canada Post resumes St. John's service in wake of 5 positive tests for COVID-19

Canada Post workers are urging people to give them their space as they get back to work Monday morning.

Kenmount Road sorting facility reopens Monday

Mail trucks will be moving again on Monday as Canada Post resumes operations with a skeleton crew in St. John's. (Andrew Sampson/CBC)

Canada Post workers are urging people in the St. John's area to give them their space as they get back to work Monday morning, after five employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Craig Dyer, local shop steward for the postal workers union in St. John's, said about 60 per cent of the employees at the Kenmount Road sorting facility are still in quarantine.

Mail delivery has been shelved for a week, since more than a dozen employees had to be quarantined after some attended a funeral that became a launching pad for the virus in eastern Newfoundland.

The sorting facility was shut down for several days of cleaning. It was announced on the weekend that operations would resume Monday morning.

"The last couple of days have been kind of peaceful," Dyer said. "But of course once the information came out we were returning to normal operations, the stress and anxiety came back again."

Dyer said he's been in contact with two of the workers who tested positive. One is asymptomatic, while the other has minor cold-like symptoms.

Keep six feet between you

Canada Post issued a public advisory Monday morning, urging people to stay two metres away from all workers — whether delivery people or retail workers.

"Please avoid opening the door or greeting them personally when they are at the door to deliver," the advisory reads.

Dyer said while the health and safety committee was satisfied with how the corporation disinfected the building, they had further concerns about "cleanliness."

A file image of the Canada Post sorting facility on Kenmount Road in St. John's. (Mark Cumby/CBC News)

 "Our union members were very forceful in their assertions," he said.

The corporation had cleaners come in one more time on Sunday to tidy up the building before the morning shift started again.

Dyer — who is still quarantined in his basement without symptoms and has not been tested — said the top priority will be getting cheques delivered to people.

They'll then begin working through the backlog of other deliveries.

Canada Post has had a practice run, of sorts, to work out the kinks of a long delay like this. It's only been two months since delivery was halted during a state of emergency following a historic blizzard in St. John's.

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