(CBS4) – In a world upended by COVID-19, mail delivery is one of the few things that hasn’t changed. The Postal Service is deemed an essential business, but spokesman James Boxrud says that doesn’t mean it’s business as usual.
“On the floor here we have some tape set down, as our employees are coming in to clock in the morning, they’re staggered.”
From social distancing to staggered shifts, washable masks to rubber gloves, Boxrud took CBS4 inside the Greenwood Village Post Office to show us how the Postal Service is protecting customers and workers, after a carrier at the facility filed a complaint saying the agency wasn’t doing enough.
While the World Health Organization, CDC and Surgeon General say there’s no evidence that coronavirus can spread through the mail, it can spread among mail carriers. Colorado has 9,000 postal employees and, in the last month, eight have tested positive at four locations.
Boxrud says, “We take all of our guidelines from the CDC.”
He points to plexiglass at the front desk and hand sanitizer throughout the building.
But, Stefan Geisler says the agency could reduce exposure further by reducing workers’ hours. He’s among hundreds of carriers nationwide who’ve signed a petition calling for the Postal Service to suspend delivery of bulk mail.
Boxrud says only Congress can do that.
“It’s against the law for us not to deliver mail. For our business customers who use marketing mail, they’re counting on us during this time to get their message out to customers.”
The postal service is also trying to get its message out. Even in a pandemic, Boxrud says, mail delivery is a constant,
“I think it’s a real sense of normalcy that people see, when they see the mail carrier out there every day. ‘OK, it’s bad but we’re getting mail, it can’t be that bad.”
Boxrud says volume of both bulk mail and first class mail is down, with businesses closed and struggling financially.
The Postmaster General says the pandemic will cost the agency $22 billion over the next year and a half. Rep. Joe Neguse, a Democrat who represents Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, has introduced a bill to increase funding for the postal service.