Canada Post employee at Toronto facility dies amid COVID-19 outbreak
TORONTO -- An employee at a Canada Post mail processing plant in the city’s east end has died after contracting COVID-19.
The Crown corporation and the union representing postal workers both confirmed the death on Sunday.
"We offer our deepest sympathies to the family as they mourn the loss and respect their privacy during this difficult time. We are focused on supporting our employees who have lost a colleague," Canada Post spokesperson Phil Legault said.
In a statement posted online, Jan Simpson, the national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), said they learned about the COVID-19 fatality on Saturday night.
“I know I speak for all CUPW members when I share my deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies to the member’s family, friends, and coworkers, and respect their privacy during this difficult time,” Simpson said.
“Canada Post has advised the union that they are respecting all Toronto Public Health guidelines, but we will continue to gather information and take all necessary actions to make sure Canada Post is prioritizing the health and safety of members. We will accept nothing less.”
The president of the CUPW Toronto Local 626 identified the employee as Theresa Griffin.
An outbreak at the South Central sorting facility was declared on April 2.
Simpson said thirteen workers at the Eastern Avenue located tested positive for COVID-19 over a two-week period, which triggered rapid testing at the facility.
“The union will continue to fight for the health and safety of all members. Vaccination of CUPW members is a top priority for us and we’ve been vocal about the need for postal workers to be included in the second phase of vaccinations,” she said.
“We all deserve to be protected.”
Legault said that 16 employees have contracted the disease since March 16.
“Canada Post is providing voluntary onsite rapid COVID-19 testing to all employees and contractors at this facility,” he said in an email to CP24.
“Any employees who do test positive must leave the workplace and self-isolate. Canada Post has paid leave provisions in place to support employees.”
Earlier this year, more than 200 employees at the Canada Post Gateway facility in Mississauga tested positive for COVID-19. The outbreak resulted in the death of one employee.