Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 100 postal workers across the country have died of the coronavirus.
Officials from the Postal Workers’ Union said that just last week, 18,750 postal workers were quarantined because they were diagnosed with COVID-19 or were exposed to it.
Nick Casselli, chairman of the local union branch, said the Philadelphia area is no exception.
He said that several positive cases are being diagnosed and reported every day.
Caselli said: “When you go to work, your colleagues show a certain degree of danger to the coronavirus, and the harm is great. Going to work is scary.”
After prioritizing the post-voting avalanche that led to this year’s general election, the post office has already dealt with the backlog in November.
The result is that nearly a week after Christmas, there are still countless people waiting for the arrival of holiday packages.
For small businesses that rely on customer satisfaction, this is twice the pressure.
Five weeks ago, Tara Lieberher of Hallesville, Montgomery County, launched the silk pillowcase and headband business.
She said: “When I should focus on getting more orders and posting them to people. I spend all my time on the phone with the post office trying to figure out where everything is.”
But Caselli said that despite the shortage of staff and heavy burdens, postal staff are still working around the clock.
She said: “We are now trying to correct the ship, but the perfect storm really made us 8 goals behind.”
Postal officials said they are making progress in delivering the backlog of packages, but they don’t expect to be chased for several more weeks.
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