Some residents around the city say that since the coronavirus crisis began, their mail is sometimes late or it does not come at all.
Postal workers tell NY1 an increasing number of their fellow letter carriers are calling out sick, and that management seems indifferent to their concerns.
"The post office hasn’t done anything and they just deem it business as usual,” said one postal worker, who asked we keep his identity anonymous, as the workers have been told not to speak to the media.
The worker said he first learned someone in his Long Island City, Queens facility tested positive for COVID-19 last weekend, through a text message from a union representative.
"They’re trying to keep it hush, hush, so not to panic people and have them call out sick," the worker said.
But people are calling out sick. When we spoke to him on Tuesday, he said 20 of his co-workers called out sick, some fearing they were exposed to the virus.
He said on a typical day, there are about 50 people working on postal trucks and an additional 35 letter carriers in his district. Inside the facility, there's about 10 to 15 people sorting and breaking down packages.
The worker said the facility never closed for a full cleaning. He added it was only after his co-worker tested positive that they were provided with protective gear: one non-N95 mask and one pair of gloves each.
"They know how easily it spreads and they just don’t care," he said.
The postal worker says because so many people are out sick, it’s leading to longer shifts. He says now, people are mandated to work anywhere from 12 to 16 hours.
A nearby Amazon delivery center in Woodside closed last week after a worker there tested positive for COVID-19. He said the local post office is picking up some of that slack now too.
Kate Hinds, an editor at WNYC radio, says she did not receive any mail at her home in Manhattan for four days.
A spokesman for the Postal Service said the agency continues to follow the recommended guidance and strategies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health departments. He added there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail.
The spokesman said the USPS is encouraging frequent hand washing, use of sanitizers and additional cleaning of work spaces. He added they are encouraging any employee who feels they are sick to stay home. He said the USPS is offering a liberal leave policy and working with postal unions to temporarily expand lease options.