JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ Plus) — Whether you’ve tested positive or not, everyone has been affected by the coronavirus. This is the third of a four-part series that dives into the life of an essential worker, and today we continue with postal workers.
The job of a postal worker hasn’t gotten any easier during the COVID-19 pandemic, in fact, it’s quite the opposite as they’ve seen even more business.
“It’s very comparable to what we call peak season, the Christmas holiday,” says Jill Walters, Strategic Communications Specialist for the United States Postal Service.
Walters says they’ve made lots of changes.
“We have initiated staggered start times so what that means is people are coming in maybe 15 or 30-minute intervals to help with the social distancing.”
They’ve also provided all 630,000 employees with face masks, gloves and hand sanitizer…and any employee that feels sick is asked to stay home.
Right here in Johnstown, U.S.P.S. delivers to around 32,000 mailboxes each day and Stan Niton is one of those carriers.
He says lots has changed with how he delivers mail.
“If we have to conduct business with you and we knock on your door, we try not to ring your doorbell because we try not to touch previously touched areas…so we try to knock on the door in a place that is not touched by anybody,” says Stan Niton, Letter Carrier for U.S.P.S. “If you’re not comfortable with that, we’ll gladly put your mail in your mailbox, we’ll set the parcels at the front door or even set the parcels on your front porch for you.”
Niton has been out in the field for more than 10 years and says the people side is the hardest change for him.
“When you’re a people person, that interrelationship your customers become like your family and friends. You always have a simple hello. I know some customers have even put out a bag of cookies for us, maybe just a token note of appreciation. You develop that relationship with your customers, they’re like your family.”
Walters says the postal service is in for the long haul.
“We are in this together and we will continue to press forward and be out there showing consistency in the sense of normalcy to what we bring to the table each and every day.”