FedEx confirms Houston employee tested positive for COVID19

FedEx has confirmed a Houston employee has tested positive for COVID19.

The infected FedEx worker is employed at the Southwest Houston FedEx Shipping Center on South Sam Houston Parkway West near Gessner.

"We are taking all necessary precautions and following guidance from government authorities related to reporting and containment of the coronavirus," FedEx said.

Workers at the FedEx facility say they’ve suspected their colleague has COVID-19 and have worked in fear all week and didn’t know if the company would confirm the case.

FOX 26 Legal Analyst Chris Tritico says no employer should hide this illness from workers.

"We want to prevent the community spread and as an employer, you want to protect your own employees," he said. 

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In fact, the CDC recommends that if an employee is confirmed to have COVID19, employers should inform fellow employees, without revealing who the person is because of privacy laws.

"In a small outfit like my firm, we only have five employees. Somebody gets it, everybody’s going to know,” adds Tritico.

Once a workplace confirms a case of COVID-19, the CDC says workers should refer to the CDC Risk Assessment guide because the illness is spread between people in close contact, within six feet, who breathe in or come into contact with respiratory droplets from an infected person.

For instance, you’re considered at low risk by being in the same indoor environment as a person with COVID19 for a prolonged period of time if you were not in close contact.

The CDC considers you at “No Identifiable Risk” after "walking by the person or being briefly in the same room”.

What about FedEx customers? According to the National Institutes of Health the virus that causes COVID19 can remain in the air up to three hours, four hours on copper, can survive up to 24 hours on cardboard and two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

The CDC recommends closing off areas in the workplace that were used by the ill worker until the areas are properly cleaned and disinfected with a bleach solution.

"The health and safety of our team members and customers is our top priority," FedEx said in a statement. The facility has been closed for "a thorough cleaning and disinfecting".

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