Coronavirus causing mail to be delivered every other day in some metro Detroit areas

Tribune Content Agency

DETROIT — Residents in parts of southeast Michigan will have to wait a little longer for their mail to arrive.

The United States Postal Service said some customers in metro Detroit area are receiving mail every other day as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Some Detroit District customers are receiving mail every other day as compared to the normal daily delivery as we match the workload created by the impacts of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” USPS strategic communications specialist Elizabeth Najduch said. “We appreciate the patience of our customers and the efforts of our employees as conditions change on a day-to-day basis.”

Mail delays due to an apparent lack of mail carriers have been reported in Detroit, Farmington Hills, Jackson, and cities in Oakland and Macomb counties. USPS could not offer a timetable on when mail service will be fully restored.

Post offices are also feeling the effects of the coronavirus. At the main post office in downtown Detroit on Fort, there was one postal worker helping customers at the front counter and another scrambling for packages in the back. The line was out the door, with each customer spread 6-feet apart, following the recommended guidelines. One of the postal workers said the main branch was working with 50% of its staff.

“The only thing we can do is wait,” said Nathan Freeman of Detroit, who visited the post office to mail off two packages. “Postal workers are needed every day and I understand if some of them can’t or don’t want to work during this pandemic. It’s a dangerous job.”

Nationwide, USPS has had close to 400 workers test positive for coronavirus. Thursday, the News Herald reported two positive cases of the coronavirus at the Detroit Network Distribution Center in Allen Park. Up to 500,000 pieces of mail a day are processed through the facility, from all of southeast Michigan and parts of the Midwest.

Last week, Detroiter Anthony Smith became the first known mail handler to die of coronavirus. He worked at the Allen Park facility and had been on the job for 30 years.

Despite the two confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the Allen Park facility, other rumored cases, and the death of Smith, USPS said its employees should not feel in danger.

“We have reached out to the local public health office and we will follow the guidance they provide,” said Najduch. “We believe the risk is low for employees who work at the Detroit Network Distribution Center, but we will keep our employees apprised as new information and guidance becomes available.”


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