It’s a far cry from last year, when the Postal Service was experiencing a historic volume of deliveries that led to an overflow of parcels and overworked employees. Workers reported at the time that packages were stacked so high, it was difficult to walk around, and parcels were sitting on trucks for several days waiting to be sorted. Some employees reportedly worked 80-hour weeks and were unable to take a day off between Thanksgiving and Christmas in order to keep up with the flood of packages.
The agency was also feeling the affects of capacity limits on airlines and trucks that transported the mail, as well as higher package volumes as other carriers turned customers away. Private firms like FedEx and UPS had warned early on of limited capacity, which meant that retailers had to turn to other avenues to ship their goods — like the Postal Service, which accepts all pieces of mail presented to it.
Now, as the Omicron variant spreads throughout the US, Postal Service workers are once again getting sick, the union told the Associated Press’ David Sharp on Friday.
Roughly 6,500 postal workers were quarantined due to COVID-19 as of Christmas Eve. This week, that number has grown to 8,000, the AP reported.