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Mail Service In Edgewater Improving After Major Delays Exposed, But Residents Still Seeking Long-Term Fix

CHICAGO (CBS) -- People in Edgewater say they suddenly started getting mail again after our story on their U.S. Postal Service woes regarding delayed letters that had been sent to them weeks earlier.

They say things are better this week, but they tell CBS 2 Morning Insider Tim McNicholas they need a permanent fix.

If only Ed Socorro and his neighbors could mail away their frustrations.

"It comes down to will I get that letter in time to act accordingly?" Socorro said.

Socorro hadn't gotten his mail in more than three weeks, so he turned to CBS 2 for help last Friday. Just hours after our story first aired, "we did get mail that night," Socorro said.

"It was around 9 p.m. that night, which is not common, and then the following day we got mail as well, which is definitely not common," he added.

Socorro snapped a photo of two envelopes postmarked Nov. 6, meaning it took three weeks for them to arrive.

One block over, Peter Riek says he also got mail postmarked from weeks earlier, hours after our story aired.

"It's extremely frustrating. You have things like bills that you anticipate; your mortgage, your gas bills," Riek said.

USPS said COVID-19 is affecting their staffing.

That's the problem, but the people of Edgewater and neighboring Rogers Park need a solution.

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky said 250 people have called her office about the issues in the past week alone.

"Well, I'm sorry, coronavirus is not concentrated in that particular area. So there has to be some real explanation of why it's those folks that are really hurting right now," Schakowsky said.

Schakowsky said she hasn't received a thorough explanation of the problem.

"Not really. It's about shortages," she said.

The congresswoman said USPS told her team that they plan to bring eight more mail carriers to the area.

"The other thing they told us is that they're going to have a bit of a shortened training period, make sure people know what to do about delivering the mail, but not the more lengthy one that they usually do, so they can get people on the street," Schakowsky said.

We reached out to the Postal Service, and they said they are hiring more people and adjusting staff because of the pandemic.

Beyond that, they wouldn't answer our questions; like how many new carriers are coming into the area, where are they coming from, and when will they start?

"Nothing, as usual," said Robin Schapiro, who hasn't received mail in two weeks.

She said she will welcome the new staff, but "it all starts with management, and obviously you're not managing your office the right way."

Shortly after our interview, Schapiro said she finally did get a few pieces of junk mail -- the first mail she has gotten in two weeks.

Schapiro said someone from the Postal Service called her Thursday to tell her the mail should be coming soon.

Schapiro said she is still waiting on some other important mail.

The USPS sent McNicholas another email on Wednesday saying they can't quantify the new staff in Rogers Park and Edgewater because new hires are often moved from one area to another based on the Postal Service's day-to-day needs.

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