USPS Shuts Offices After Anthrax Alarm

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The U.S. Postal Service closed 11 facilities and post offices in Washington, Maryland and Arlington, VA, last week after an automated alarm and a follow-up test revealed the possible presence of anthrax.

A routine air sample taken at the Naval Consolidated Mail Facility at Anacostia Naval Station in Washington tested positive for anthrax, the USPS said. Most of the mail at that location came from the postal service's V Street processing facility, and a contractor who transported the mail collected it from other facilities in the area. All were shut down.

Customers serviced by the closed facilities will experience "minimal" delays, the USPS said. The closures were made out of "an abundance of caution," according to a USPS statement.

Of eight follow-up samples taken after the initial field test, only one was found positive, the Associated Press reported. The Washington Post said five postal employees received antibiotics and that results of the analysis of subsequent tests won't be available for several days.

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