The United States Postal Service, currently being hit hard as letter-mail volume plummets during the COVID-19 pandemic, is in need of rapid emergency funding.
While previous estimates put a June expiration date on the USPS if it didn’t get the necessary financial help, the post office now expects to be able to survive through September. It’s not exactly a sigh of relief, but it is a few extra months.
This is according to a May 13 statement from the National Association of Letter Carriers, which is the national labor union of city carriers employed by the USPS. In it, the union pushed that June deadline back, but just by a bit.
As people continue to rely on package delivery services while they stay at home, delivery workers have been on the frontlines of exposure. In late March, 2,000 USPS employees were in quarantine and 51 had tested positive for COVID-19.
Those numbers have only skyrocketed since. The NALC statement said about 5,000 employees are currently quarantined, with more than 12,000 previously quarantined people cleared and back at work — including about 1,000 who tested positive and recovered. Roughly 900 of the currently quarantined employees have tested positive for COVID-19, and another 500 are thought to be positive as well. Sixty have died from the virus.
Employees have told Business Insider that a lack of supplies, sick pay, and care from supervisors is putting them at risk.