Congressman Gerry Connolly and Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney wrote earlier this week that the USPS might need to suspend operations if it doesn’t receive financial assistance from the federal government.
“Based on a number of briefings and warnings this week about a critical fall-off in mail across the country, it has become clear that the Postal Service will not survive the summer without immediate help from Congress and the White House,” Connolly and Maloney wrote. “Every community in America relies on the Postal Service to deliver vital goods and services, including life-saving medications. The Postal Service needs America’s help, and we must answer this call.”
“The Postal Service remains concerned that this measure will be insufficient to enable the Postal Service to withstand the significant downturn in our business that could directly result from the pandemic,” USPS spokesman David Partenheimer told CNN. “Under a worst case scenario, such downturn could result in the Postal Service having insufficient liquidity to continue operations.”
Beyond the financial issues, many USPS workers are concerned about the lack of protection they’ve been given while handling mail.
“They cannot telework. They have to deliver the mail and sort the mail. They have to put the mail in mailboxes either at the post office or at people’s homes and businesses,” Rep. Connolly said. “They are complaining that in the workplace itself they are given no protective gear to help minimize the risk that has them very concerned.”
Heath officials are urging people to remain in their homes as much as possible and avoid all social gatherings. Additionally, the CDC has issued some tips for helping to avoid contracting the disease.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.