The essential workers at the United States Postal Service are following stricter guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, while at least one USPS worker at a distribution and processing facility in Honolulu has tested positive for the disease.
The mail carriers at USPS are busier delivering packages and are working more than 12 hours a day, but a mail carrier said during this pandemic, people rely on them more than ever.
Adele Yoshikawa has delivered mail for more than 20 years, she said masks and gloves are now worn inside the office and on deliveries. These are part of the new guidelines USPS workers follow to keep themselves and others healthy.
Yoshikawa said, “Especially when I go to the shopping center I put it on, and then we also have gloves available, I mean we could go through gloves because it gets really dirty very quickly so I always have a change in my pocket.”
She said part of the new measures include having to keep her distance, at least six feet away from the folks she delivers and is used to seeing daily.
Yoshikawa said, “Any accountable or certified mail, we let them know and show them what it is but we have the authorization to sign it so they don’t touch our scanners or our pens.”
Yoshikawa works at the Pearl City USPS location, they have set-up a sanitation station with antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizer, gloves and masks for the employees.
At least one USPS worker tested positive for COVID-19, a spokesperson said the employee worked at a processing plant near the airport and had no contact with customers.
So far, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report there are no known cases of people catching COVID-19 by touching their mail or packages.
Meanwhile, Yoshikawa, said her essential worker status is taking a whole new meaning during the coronavirus pandemic.
“To know that we have that connection that we are actually bringing essential items to your house that makes me feel amazing,” Yoshikawa said. “For me to still be able to work, I have a lot of friends who lost their job and I am so grateful.”
The USPS is also reminding everyone to stay at least six feet away from the postal vehicles as the coronavirus cases continue to surface.