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Americus Post Office finds ways to operate amidst the Corona Virus Crisis

From Staff Reports

 

AMERICUS – The corona virus has affected every facet of life in America, including here in Americus. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has left it up to individual municipalities to decide whether to have local businesses shut down and to order people to stay home. While he hasn’t ordered a statewide shelter-in-place edict, Governor Kemp has urged Georgians to avoid social gatherings, wash their hands regularly and to call their doctor before showing up at the hospital if they are sick.

In the midst of this crisis, the U. S. Postal Service (USPS) has also taken measures to protect its employees and customers, while at the same time, trying to continue to serve customers by mailing and receiving millions of packages from across the nation and around the world.

This, of course, would include the local post office here in Americus. While local postal workers could not grant interviews, Floyd Wagner, who works in the USPS’s Department of Media Relations for the Gulf Atlantic District (Southern Georgia and Northern Florida), gave the Americus Times-Recorder the official statement from the USPS on how it is trying to go about its business during this corona virus crisis.

This is the official statement from the USPS:

The United States Postal Service is closely monitoring the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation and continues to follow strategies and measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health departments. The CDC has information available on its website at https://www.coronavirus.gov that provides the latest information about COVID-19. We are sharing the CDC’s guidance to our employees via stand-up talks, employee news articles, messages on bulletin boards, videos and an intranet site within USPS workplaces.

The CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html), the World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses), and the Surgeon General have indicated that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail.

The Postal Service has so far experienced only minor operational impacts in the United States as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We do continue to have a temporary suspension of the guarantee on Priority Mail Express International destined for China and Hong Kong, which has been effective since Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, due to widespread airline cancellations and restrictions into this area. In addition, customers may see delays in mail and packages destined to China as well as from China, as well as to and from European countries subject to restricted passenger airline travel. The Postal Service is undertaking all reasonable measures to minimize the impact to our customers.

In addition, the Postal Service is an essential service for purposes of its compliance with state or municipality shelter-in-place orders or other social distancing restrictions. The Postal Service delivers medications, social security checks, and is the leading delivery service for on-line purchases. The statute that created the Postal Service begins with the following sentence. “The United States Postal Service shall be operated as a basic and fundamental service provided to the people by the Government of the United States, authorized by the Constitution, created by an Act of Congress, and supported by the people.” 39 U.S.C. §101(a).

According to The World Health Organization, “the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.” And according to the CDC, “in general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.”