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Postal workers may not be required to wear masks

Supervalu owner raises concerns

Oregon Supervalu Owner Jim Kaufman feels that in a time of government mandates, government employees should have to follow them.

Kaufman raised concerns two weeks ago when his postal service mail carrier came into his store on multiple occasions not wearing a mask.

“She refuses to wear one. We called the Ogle County Health Department. The post office argued and said they only have to follow federal laws. The OCHD says we could keep her out, but we need our mail.”

Kaufman says his store receives “quite a bit” of mail each day and he doesn’t have much of a choice but to continue letting the carrier come in.

The United States Postal Service website says it has revised its guidelines concerning cloth face coverings and masks for its workforce.

“All Postal Service employees are now required to wear cloth face coverings or masks where they are mandatory in support of local or state face covering directives or orders and in all facilities where social distancing cannot be maintained,” the site said.

Masks are required in public throughout the state and in Supervalu. The Oregon Post Office refused comment on the matter. Calls made to the OCHD were not returned.

The site also said that in addition to masks, face covering and social distancing requirements, postal employees are advised to follow CDC-recommended prevention methods including disinfecting frequently-touched objects and surfaces, washing hands often and using hand sanitizer.

Kaufman says he has dealt with “three or four” customers that haven’t wanted to wear masks and some of them have threatened to never shop at Supervalu again. He said he simply explains their guidelines and asks them to leave if they don’t comply.

“My employees are at risk every day,” Kaufman said. “Many won’t work right now. I just think wearing one is the right thing to do. Shoppers are only in here for 15 minutes. I’m in here for 15 hours a day.”