Colorado governor orders post office shut down after employee hospitalized for pneumonia

Saturday, November 10th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) _ Gov. Bill Owens ordered two post offices closed Saturday until environmental tests are conducted for anthrax. A worker whose illness prompted the action does not have the disease, tests confirmed late Saturday.

The worker, a 41-year-old man, was hospitalized Tuesday with pneumonia but is improving, said Cindy Parmenter, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention performed tests on his blood and fluid taken from his lungs, and both tests were negative. Parmenter said no additional tests were planned for him.

Owens ordered closed the Fort Collins branch post office where the man worked and a second that receives mail from that facility. The governor said he conferred with 20 doctors who unanimously recommended the closings.

Some 200 postal employees had been advised to take antibiotics. Those will be available Sunday, or until the environmental tests rule out anthrax, health officials said.