CAMPUS MAILROOMS CLOSED FOR CLEANING
Officials Continue Precautionary Measures to Ensure Campus Safety
D.C. Department of Health Director Dr. Ivan Walks today confirmed that one
(1) of a total of 54 environmental samples from Howard
University's Main Mailroom on the ground floor of the Administration
Building tested positive for evidence of Anthrax spores. Howard
University officials immediately closed the site and, after contacting CDC
(D.C.) Team Leader John Brooks, have already initiated the
clean-up process, which is expected to be completed within the next 12
The University has hired IT Corp., the same company contracted to clean the
Brentwood (U.S.) Postal Station in Washington, D.C., to
clean the mailroom. In resolving the situation, the University also
contacted the FBI, CDC and the EPA and has affirmed that the
measures being exacted at Howard are in line with established, recommended
In maintaining its proactive stance, the University hired a CDC-approved
contractor, Nichols Environmental Associates, which began
testing the mailrooms on Nov. 8. As a precautionary measure, mailrooms in
Carver, Slowe, Meridian, Howard Plaza Towers, and the
schools of Divinity and Law will be closed until testing has been completed.
Each of these sites receives mail directly from the Brentwood
facility, including Howard University Hospital's mailroom which will be
tested on Tuesday, Nov. 13. Results from the tests are expected
within the next 72 hours.
All employees of these mailrooms have been notified about the clean-up
process and each will report to the University's Employee Health
Center at Howard University Hospital on the morning of Nov. 13 for
additional, precautionary evaluation as well as instructions for reporting
to alternative work sites. As a precautionary measure, the University had
already placed more than 300 mail-handling employees
on prophylactic medications in line with D.C. Department of Health and CDC
protocols, beginning the week of Oct 21. Of the individuals
identified, none have shown signs of illness from the Anthrax bacteria.
Incoming mail will be stored at a secured campus site until completion of
work at the main campus mailroom.
As stated previously, employees with medical inquiries or health concerns
are encouraged to contact their personal or family physicians.
Students with medical inquiries or health concerns are encouraged to contact
their family physician or the Student Health Center.
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