Confidential memo warns of alleged COVID infection at UPS warehouse in Glens Falls

Saratoga County

A UPS truck in San Francisco on June 17, 2014. (Justin Sullivan / Getty)

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — NEWS10 has obtained a copy of a notice allegedly sent to UPS workers at the company’s Glens Falls warehouse. According to the notice, a facility employee tested positive for COVID-19.

The memo says the Department of Public Health was contacted, and that the employee in question is now quarantined. It says that all areas where the employees worked have been cleaned and disinfected, and that the health department did not recommend additional quarantines.

One employee challenged this idea, alleging to NEWS10 that as many as six additional employees are allegedly quarantined. The memo concludes by telling employees to stay home and tell human resources if they feel unwell.

When reached for comment, the public relations team at UPS sent the following response to NEWS10:

If there is a need to disclose a positive case to the news media for public health reasons, that disclosure will come from local health departments or other responding authorities.

There are two big efforts when UPS learns an employee has been positively diagnosed.  First, communicating with co-workers.  Second, making sure the facility is cleaned before the work area is used again and employees are reminded about hygiene and other protocols.

Communicating with co-workers

When UPS learns of a COVID-19 positive case, we inform co-workers in the area that a case has occurred, without disclosing the identity of the ill employee.  We cooperate with public health authorities concerning the employee’s contact trace and recommend to co-workers that they self-monitor and contact a physician if any symptoms occur.

Cleaning before returning to work

We thoroughly clean and disinfect the areas where that employee worked according to public health department recommendations before work resumes.

We are vigilantly taking steps to protect the health and welfare of our employees, customers, and the general public.

Communication: We continue to communicate often and regularly with our employees about the recommended behaviors to manage health risks.

Hygiene protocols and social distancing: 

· We are continuously sharing the hygiene protocols suggested by the CDC and WHO with all employees.

· The company has modified, and will continue to modify, our normal operating procedures to maintain social distance protocols. For example, we have added space between work stations inside our facilities and suspended requiring customers to sign for “signature required” packages.

· We have also modified other protocols involving site access, gatherings of employees, and public interaction at service counters.

Signs of illness: 

· If any employee experiences symptoms such as fever or respiratory infection, they are required to seek medical treatment. We do not want them to come to work if they are sick.

· UPS will provide up to 10 days of compensation for any employee who is diagnosed with the virus, or who is required to quarantine, or if a household member is diagnosed with the virus and the employee is required to quarantine.

Cleaning and disinfecting our facilities and equipment:  

· We have substantially increased cleaning and disinfecting surfaces throughout our facilities.

· Our vehicles and equipment are cleaned and disinfected daily with an emphasis on the interiors and frequent exterior touch points, and we are providing our employees with supplies so they can wipe down their work surfaces and vehicles throughout the day. 

PPE materials:

· We have distributed protective equipment to employees and we are regularly replenishing supplies at our facilities. This includes hand soap, hand sanitizer and wipes. Disinfecting wipes are extremely limited in the supply chain, but we have other bleach disinfecting solutions in place.

· UPS requires that our employees wear masks or face coverings in our operations and when interacting with the public. We are making masks and disposable gloves available to our employees with the guidelines to properly use them. We follow all government directives that require the use of masks or face coverings.

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