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Mail delays linked to shortage of U.S. Postal carriers; workers calling off because of COVID issues

Posted at 5:59 PM, Mar 23, 2021

EASTPOINTE (WXYZ) — Fiona Bowlin said she received mail at her home in Eastpointe on Monday, but two of her neighbors across the street said they haven't received mail since late last week.

Brian Garland said he called the U.S. Post Office in Eastpointe to ask why no mail has been delivered to his house since Thursday and he was told that people have retired and a lot of people are calling in sick or have coronavirus.

Garland is frustrated because he and his family are expecting their stimulus checks might be in the mail since the money has not appeared on their Direct Express accounts where they receive other benefits.

Garland said he's been told to watch the mail because he and his family may receive their stimulus money that way.

"How can I watch my mail if it ain't being delivered?" Garland asked.

Multiple union sources told 7 Action News that the problem is COVID-19. Postal carriers are either sick, in quarantine, or caring for a loved one who is ill after contracting the virus.

One of the sources said that half the carriers who service one zip code in the metro Detroit area called off for work on Saturday.

A carrier who works out of the post office in Eastpointe said COVID is the reason for the shortage of carriers.

Action News contacted a spokesperson for the United States Postal Service about the delays and asked if they were due to COVID and quarantine issues. Elizabeth Najduch replied with the following:

We apologize for any inconvenience that may have been experienced by the customer living in Eastpointe, MI. I can confirm delivery is being completed today to that area. We appreciate the patience of our customers and the efforts of employees as conditions change on a day-to-day basis. Customers are reminded that, if they need assistance with mailing or shipping concerns, they have a variety of options for reaching us, including contacting a supervisor or manager at their local postal station. Customers can also go to our website usps.com and click on “Contact us” at the bottom of our homepage, or utilize this direct web address: https://usps.force.com/emailus/s/[gcc02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com]. Every email will be carefully documented and appropriate action taken to strengthen service. In addition, the official Twitter account of the United States Postal Service, managed by the Social Media staff at USPS HQ, can provide help. For customer service, please tweet @USPSHelp.

Thank you,

Elizabeth Najduch | USPS Strategic Communications Specialist | Michigan 1 District

Because Najduch did not specify a reason for the issues, Action News asked what has been the problem and how many customers are estimated to have been affected.

"There is no other information to share," Najduch replied.