Frisco Post Office reduces hours after employee tests positive for COVID-19
FRISCO — Residents did their best to physically distance from one another Wednesday morning as they formed a line inside the Frisco Post Office, stretching from the closed doors of the retail space down along the P.O. boxes and around the corner as they awaited the office’s opening.
Operations at the post office have slowed considerably of late as the service copes with ongoing problems brought on by the pandemic. An employee at the Frisco Post Office recently tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to U.S. Postal Service spokesperson James Boxrud.
Although COVID-19 can survive on some surfaces for a short period, the spread of the virus from mail products or packaging is unlikely, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Postal Service is following guidelines outlined by the Summit County Public Health Department in response to the positive test result and has had to make changes to operations to deal with a shortage of employees.
“There are other areas where we also have the same issues going on,” Boxrud said. “We’re flexing our muscles and basically borrowing from other offices and bringing in people from across Colorado to backfill. Our employees are working a lot of overtime to keep up with the current mail volume.”
Boxrud said he couldn’t comment on whether other employees were sent home to quarantine as a precaution, but the positive test has clearly created staffing issues. The post office has borrowed an employee each from the Dillon and Breckenridge branches to help carry the load, and Boxrud said the Postal Service is reaching out to larger cities with bigger employee pools to find extra assistance.
In the meantime, the office will be indefinitely reducing its hours to 1-5 p.m. on weekdays. It will be open regular hours on Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
“In the morning, there’s no way to handle customers and keep up with the current volume of mail, notifying packages and things like that,” Boxrud said. “So those first six or seven hours of the day, they do mailbox stuff, get all the packages notified. Then they can go ahead and open up.”
Town of Frisco officials reached out to offer assistance as well, but the post office was unable to accept.
“Many of us use the Frisco Post Office, including to pick up town mail,” said Vanessa Agee, Frisco’s director of communications. “It has been very challenging. Our Town Manager Nancy Kerry reached out to the post office and offered support in a really concrete way, to supply some labor if they wanted it. I think there are some hurdles to that, and the post office wasn’t able to take us up on our offer. … Let’s cut them a break. I think they’re working with very reduced staff, and they can’t just plug us in.”
Boxrud said postal jobs require a lengthy hiring process of between four and six weeks to conduct background checks, drug testing and internal testing in which employees are required to take.
“It’s a federal employment job, even for our holiday helpers we hire,” Boxrud said. “… I wish we could hire people off the street at times, but it just doesn’t work that way.”
Boxrud said the post office would begin extending the hours once more employees are in place.
“We want to apologize for the inconvenience, and we appreciate everyone’s patience as we work through these very unfortunate circumstances,” Boxrud said.
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