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Second employee at UPS Worldport dies of COVID-19

A UPS employee has died from coronavirus-related complications, according to an internal memo sent to employees and obtained by WHAS11.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A second employee at UPS Worldport in Louisville has died of coronavirus, according to a memo sent to us by multiple sources inside the company.

Sources inside UPS tell us the memo was sent Friday, April 10, confirming the death of an employee who tested positive for COVID-19. The news comes six days after another UPS worker, Roml Ellis, died of the same virus.

According to the memo, the second employee to die from the virus was last at work on April 1. He worked in Wing B, a loading and unloading section of UPS Worldport, the largest air-sorting hub in UPS’ network. 

WHAS11 News FOCUS reporter Paula Vasan asked the company directly for their response to his death. In a statement, they tell us, in part: “Employees who work directly in the vicinity of an employee who tested positive would be notified that they may have been exposed and that they should pay special attention to the potential emergence of symptoms.” 

UPS has told us they will not identify confirmed cases of coronavirus, citing medical privacy. But the company outlined the actions they’re taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as providing masks to follow CDC guidelines, 30 additional shuttle buses to take employees to and from the airport to sort packages and more frequent cleaning. 

On April 6, Gov. Andy Beshear confirmed one person working at UPS died of the virus. But he said the case was being tracked by Indiana authorities since the individual lived in Clark County. Indiana’s Clark County Health Department told us he passed away from coronavirus on April 4 at Norton Hospital in Louisville. They say he had no underlying health conditions, and that UPS was notified immediately. 

"UPS is going to great lengths to protect employees during the pandemic," said UPS spokesman Jim Mayer in a statement to WHAS11 on Saturday. "As part of the country’s critical infrastructure, we have both the privilege and responsibility to continue to work safely."

According to the memo obtained by WHAS11 and a company spokesperson, UPS is communicating with employees who may have been exposed to the virus, and anyone with symptoms should report them immediately. 

Along with notifying "any employees involved, UPS is providing 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," Mayer said. 

Earlier this week, employees at the company told WHAS11 that they have been noticing gradual safety improvements. Masks were distributed to employees April 7 and a UPS spokesperson said anyone who’s concerned for their safety should speak with a manager.

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