Postal worker concerned about lack of mask use at Barrhaven sorting facility

OTTAWA — The use of masks is mandatory in all indoor public places in Ottawa; but some buildings that are considered private don’t fall under the same rules.

Canada Post letter carrier Nancy Chenier says she is concerned that some of her co-workers are not wearing masks at a Barrhaven Canada Post sorting facility.

“It’s not mandatory…I shouldn’t be asking somebody, I shouldn’t have to be worried; it’s not my job to tell somebody to put their mask on,” says Chenier.

Before hitting the road to make deliveries, she begins her day by sorting mail at the facility, “The social distancing is next to impossible in these smaller stations.”

On Sunday, Chenier says one of her co-workers tested positive for COVID-19, after catching the virus outside of work.

Canada Post spokesperson Jon Hamilton tells CTV News Ottawa this is “the first case we’ve had in Ottawa since we began operating through COVID in March of this year.”

While wearing masks in indoor public places is required, their use in some private businesses isn’t mandatory. Hamilton says Canada Post is following bylaws and regulations.

“What we committed to employees right from the beginning, is we would follow the guidance of public health officials at the national level, at the local level; to ensure that we are doing everything possible to keep them safe.”

Hamilton says there are approximately 1,500 Canada Post employees who work in Ottawa, not including the head office, and that they have taken steps to keep employees and customers safe across the country.

“We’ve put in physical distancing in every facet of our operation; whether it’s in our depots, we have staged when people come in and out of the building so that we don’t have the full compliment of staff, you can reduce the amount of people – we have markings on the floors, and we’ve changed the way we process.”

Since the confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported at the Barrhaven facility, Chenier says the use of masks has increased, but she’s worried it’s just a temporary move.

“I think it scared people; I’m afraid when the dust settles, it may just go back to the way it was before if things don’t change.”

She just wants to see masks mandated by health officials.

“I think guidelines need to change for businesses that aren’t considered public.”

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