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COVID-19 vaccinations

The Postal Service is seeking temporary relief from an emergency temporary standard (ETS) issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on Nov. 5.

The ETS requires that employees in organizations with more than 100 workers either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested weekly and subjected to stricter face covering requirements.

USPS is also seeking an interim order that would allow the organization to continue using its current COVID-19 mitigation policies and protocols while the temporary relief request is being decided.

The Postal Service is seeking temporary relief because it wants to ensure that its ability to deliver mail and packages is not hindered amid the current disruptions in the nation’s supply chain.

In addition, USPS wants to adopt policies and procedures that comply with the ETS while also fulfilling the organization’s other legal obligations.

“We will continue to enforce the existing extensive COVID-19 mitigation program to protect our employees and customers nationwide against the effects of COVID-19,” said Kate Attridge, Labor Relations vice president.

A copy of the request for temporary relief can be found on the COVID-19 Blue page (under Playbook — Field and Districts) and the LiteBlue page (under “Additional resources”).

The Blue page also has a stand-up talk.

Any affected employee may request a hearing with the assistant secretary for occupational safety and health on the Postal Service’s temporary variance application.

The rules for requesting a hearing can be found in OSHA regulation 29 C.F.R. 1905.15(a). Additional information regarding OSHA’s variance program can be found on the agency’s website.

A healthy boost

The Combined Federal Campaign’s cause of the week is medical research.

If ever there were a time that demonstrated the vital importance of medical research, this is it.

The race to develop a coronavirus vaccine was one of breathtaking speed. What historically had taken years, took months.

Even in the middle of this dazzling medical full court press, online news site Healthline reports, researchers were doing groundbreaking work in heart disease, cancer, gene editing and Alzheimer’s disease.

Medical research is vital, in both senses of the word. It also costs money. One reason the COVID-19 vaccines were developed so quickly was that funding from the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed helped foot the bill for the research.

Donating to medical research helps speed the development of vaccines, treatments and outright cures that much more quickly.

If you’re unsure of where to focus your giving in this category, the website for the campaign, also called the CFC, makes it easy:

Under “Donors” on the homepage, choose “Online Charity Search” from the drop-down menu.

The second field is “Select a Specific Category.” From there, choose “Medical Research.”

The Combined Federal Campaign is the federal government’s workplace charity drive. The latest campaign began Sept. 1 and runs through Jan. 15.

Participation in the CFC is voluntary.

The website has more information.

This is the 16th and final in a series of articles spotlighting the Combined Federal Campaign’s cause of the week.