13 Canada Post employees in self-isolation after one tested positive for COVID-19

Andrew Sampson/CBC

A union leader at Canada Post in St. John's says 13 postal workers are now in isolation — including himself. 

Craig Dyer made the comment to CBC News after Canada Post confirmed that one of its employees at the Kenmount Road mail processing plant had tested positive for COVID-19 Monday. 

Dyer, the chief shop steward for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers local, said those in quarantine were told to do so by public health after attending a funeral at Caul's Funeral Home a week ago where a person who tested positive for COVID-19 is said to have attended. The Canada Post employee who tested positive is among them.

"It's very stressful. There's a lot of unknowns. I just recently received my call back from the 811 that was very reassuring," he said.

"But right now there's so much misinformation out there, and my direction to our workers is very simple, that we listen to only those that are an authority."

Dyer said all employees of the Kenmount Road facility were sent home. The evening shift and night shifts have been cancelled for now.

Dyer said somebody else brought the virus into the funeral home, and because of privacy reasons he doesn't know if it was a male or female. One thing he does know is one of his union members has gotten the virus as a result, he said.

"It's just a very stressful time in the world, not just at Canada Post," he said.

A Canada Post spokesperson told CBC News mail delivery was suspended for St. John's and Mount Pearl for the remainder of Monday.

Dyer said the mail facility on Kenmount Road is supposed to only be shut down until 6 a.m. Tuesday morning. He assumes it's for another cleaning of the building and hasn't heard otherwise. 

"We're hoping to hear something back from local management in the near future what their plans moving forward are," he said.

As for the Canada Post employee who tested positive, Dyer said he isn't sure if that person is symptomatic.

He added now is the time for Canada Post employees to support each other and to take the proper steps to ensure employees and the industry are safe. 

"If people don't feel safe, they can't perform the work safely, and they do have rights. And the public has rights too," Dyer said.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador