ASHLAND Rain, snow or sleet, the United States Postal Service delivers.
They can also tack global pandemic on that list.
Ashland Postmaster Angela Layne said she is “proud of my employees bringing a sense of normalcy to our communities at this time.”
With almost 500,000 postal employees nationwide, the postal service is classified as an essential job during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite concerns about the length of time the virus can live on surfaces, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have stated that mail poses a low risk for transmission.
The biggest concern for postal employees is other humans, Layne said.
“We continually reinforce workplace behaviors to ensure that contact among employees and with our customers reflects the best guidance regarding human interactions, social distancing and risk minimization,” Layne said.
To that end, Layne said the postal service has instituted signage, floor tape and sneeze guards at post offices and in processing facilities. Inside the Ashland Post Office, Layne said the floor plan has been changed around so mail carriers could adhere to maintaining 6 feet apart.
Floor plans aren’t the only adjustment the post office has instituted, Layne said. Customers no longer sign for deliveries and the service is asking customers to step back a safe distance when a mail carrier arrives.
Personal protection equipment is available for the postal service, which has opened up “local purchasing authorities and source options so that our employees can access additional supplies within the communities they serve,” Layne said.
When asked whether there are any special considerations for rural carriers, Layne replied, “Policies and procedures are in place to protect the health and safety of all employees as well as our customers.”
She didn’t elaborate on what those could be.
As far as how social distancing or illness is affecting the flow of mail, Layne also did not answer the question.
The American Postal Workers Union was contacted for this article, but it appears The Daily Independent’s inquiry may have been lost in the digital mail.
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