Post offices anticipating holiday rush, implementing local health guidelines

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The U.S. Postal Service is prepping for the rush of people mailing holiday packages, even during the pandemic. There were visible health precautions in place at a U.S. Post Office off Eubank and Constitution on Friday, but some customers were seen ignoring them. “It was busy. It was packed. I actually was surprised how long the line was,” Aaron Moreno of Albuquerque said. “I was just trying to make a mental note of keeping a six-foot distance.”

The U.S.P.S. corporate office said all of its locations have been following local health orders since March. KRQE News 13 crews noticed the location off Eubank and Constitution does have yellow markers on the floor for social distancing, but the line of more than a dozen people waiting to mail packages stretched beyond those markers. Customers were packed close together while waiting for up to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, it was a much quieter afternoon at the post office off Juan Tabo and Indian School. They did have signs telling people to wear masks, keep their distance, and they even limited lobby capacity to five people. At least one customer said the USPS could do more to enforce the health order during their busy times.”I definitely understand that they’re short-staffed and there’s no one to man the door and man the lines, but I think that everyone should have at least some sort of guidance in place,” Moreno stated.

The U.S.P.S. said they’re also giving masks to people not wearing them, and that some lobbies even have cameras so staff can check that people are social distancing. Employees are also required to wear masks.

The governor’s office said the state has no authority over federal facilities like these post offices, but that it expects them to do their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19. “As always, New Mexicans are encouraged to only run essential errands and to use online options when at all possible,” a governor’s office spokesperson added in an emailed statement.

The postal service is encouraging people to take advantage of their free package pick up from customers’ homes in lieu of going to a post office.

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