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Coronavirus Update: Some Postal Service Disrupted Due To The Pandemic

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - The day to day operations of many industries are changing during this uncertain time.

One essential business struggling to keep up with demand during the coronavirus outbreak is the United States Postal Service, and residents are noticing.

Not even a global pandemic can stop the United States Postal Service, but it can slow operations down.


Some Bronx residents say they haven't received their mail, including packages, bills and medications in almost a week.

"I get my dog medication through the mail… and I hope that's delivered, he's on insulin and heart medication ... Otherwise, I do pay my bills via check," said Maryann Monte.

Monte is retired. She lives in an apartment building in Kingsbridge that just Wednesday notified residents via email their local post office has been "inactive apparently due to numerous employees' COVID-19 related exposure and/or diagnosis."

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Riverdale resident Kevin Ploth says rumors have been circulating his co-op that coronavirus is making its way through much of the post office staff.

"I've noticed, along with some of my neighbors, we have a mailman that we know by name, and the last we saw of him was Thursday of last week," he said.

CBS2 reached out to the USPS asking:

  • Why residents haven't been notified if carriers are out sick or unable to deliver mail?
  • Are there any plans in place to resume deliveries?
  • In the meantime, what should residents do?

A USPS spokesperson responded with a statement, saying in part "we continue flexing our available resources to match the workload created by the impacts of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic."

PHOTO GALLERY: A Look Inside NYC's Viral 'Warzone' | Life In New York City Under The Coronavirus

In the meantime experts recommend erring on the side of caution when handling or picking up mail or packages.

"Keep packages outside if you can for 24 hours ... Of course you want to wash your hands when you're done, take care of any surfaces that the packages or mail could've rested on," said Carolyn Forte, cleaning director of Good Housekeeping.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization say there's no evidence of the virus spreading through mail or packages, at least one study has shown coronavirus can remain on surfaces such as cardboard for up to 24 hours.

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