BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — As postal workers continue the task of delivering letters and packages, more time is being taken on precautionary measures in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sanitizing has become part of the norm, said USPS officer in charge Kathleen Caraway, who is working at the Maumee post office.
“We realize that much of the community relies on us now more than ever to deliver medications, checks, cleaning supplies or just to see some normalcy. All of our employees are working the same, but spending much more time cleaning and sanitizing,” she said.
Caraway could not say if any workers have been exposed to the virus or tested positive for it. Approxi-mately 46 employees work in the Maumee office and like postal carriers across the country, they have access to needed supplies, including hand sanitizer, hand wipes, bleach, and gloves and masks in a variety of sizes, she said. While wearing masks and other protective gear is encouraged, it is not mandatory, she added.
“Anything you can think of we have had available throughout this whole thing and every post office is sharing. If somebody runs out of a product, they call and within 10 minutes they have it. We have been working together with our upper management and it’s working out fabulous,” she said.
Plexiglas shields have also been added to the retail area to protect clerks, and social distancing is also being practiced.
“We have had customers come out to greet us and we instructed our employees to courteously and politely remind them to keep a safe distance and that’s working out very well,” Caraway said.
With several businesses closed or operating under limited hours, the post office is taking measures to ensure accessibility by delivering mail to a different address or holding mail for pickup. In spite of those changes, Caraway says there has not been an increase in the amount of mail being held or forwarded, and in fact, the post office is not experiencing a change in the amount of mail normally processed at this time. She also said that many residents and businesses have taken extra time to express gratitude for their postal carriers, and those gestures are greatly appreciated.
“That really lifts their spirits and those acts are tremendously appreciated through this hard time. Maumee is a really great community,” she said.