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    Essential to the effort: Postal workers even more critical during virus pandemic



    Story by G. Anthonie Riis 

    Fort Knox

    FORT KNOX, Ky. — Postal workers have found themselves on the frontlines during COVID-19 restrictions as many businesses have relied on them to get needed items to customers.

    Mail carriers already performed an important service by delivering to customers’ doorsteps items they may not find locally. The pandemic upped the ante.

    “Many places are closed. Many doctors’ offices are closed, and we’re delivering a lot of medicine; much of it through Veteran Affairs,” said William Figg, post master at Fort Knox. “All your medications, your checks and even your bills – many of your essential items come though us.
    “People are staying home and ordering more [items] to be delivered; and we’re more essential now than we’ve been in a while.”

    Increases in delivery come at the expense of added precautions.
    “We’re seeing a big increase in parcels being delivered, and we’re delivering mail in ways that we’ve never done before,” Figg said. “We don’t push doorbells anymore. We knock on the door, and when we see the customer arrive, we put their package down and leave. If it’s something accountable they need to sign for, we sign it ‘COVID-19’ and the carriers’ initials.

    “They don’t touch the scanner or anything.”

    Figg said his postal workers sanitize daily to keep COVID-19 from arriving with the mail.

    “The mail never stops. It’s gotta keep going because people depend on us to deliver the things they need,” he said. “We are constantly sanitizing here to keep the customer and our people safe. We even leave the [mail delivery] doors open, so that the they’re not always touching them.”

    Figg admitted their safety-first attitude may initially affect mail timeliness.

    “We’ve not had a lot of issues here at Fort Knox, but we’ve seen problems getting the mail processed [down] from some of the bigger plants,” Figg said. “There is a backlog — with all that’s going on that is going to happen. But we have some great people who are very dedicated to getting you your mail on time.”



    Date Taken: 05.18.2020
    Date Posted: 05.18.2020 17:42
    Story ID: 370256
    Location: FORT KNOX, KY, US 

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