The adage, “Neither rain, sleet, snow or hail nothing can stop the US Mail,” has held up since the days of the pony express that saw men and women brave the elements no matter what the conditions were. Well, you can add the coronavirus to that list now.
When the image of a frontline worker is conjured up these days most envision those in the healthcare industry and first responders. Both are at the top of the list with good reason. But seldom considered, if at all, is your neighborhood mail carriers and their fellow employees at the local post office.
Each day is a roll of the dice risk of exposure from the general public for those working at the counter who interact with patrons coming to pick up or send out mail and the carriers who may encounter people infected with COVID-19 as they make their daily rounds.
Qing Chang, postmaster of the Woodinville Post Office says his staff is making its best effort to provide a sterile environment for workers and customers alike.
“We sanitize and clean the entire building daily,” Chang said. “We provide Plexiglas glass in the retail working lobby to isolate stations, and we ask that customers do their part by wearing masks and maintaining a six-foot increment distance while standing in line.”
Additional rules dictated by the US Postal Service hierarchy are also being followed to the letter, Chang said, for workers receiving, sorting and stuffing P.O. boxes and loading mail for delivery.
“We have a mandatory policy that every employee must wear a mask when six-feet social distance can’t be maintained,” he said. “We provide hand sanitizer and masks and gloves to carriers and stagger them at different times to begin their tour, and we do not gather for meetings and breaks."
Adhering to the rules set forth has paid huge dividends, Chang said.
“The Woodinville P.O. has had zero employees contract COVID-19, or have had anyone be placed in quarantine."