AUSTIN, Texas — While social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, more and more people are relying on the U.S. Postal Service to get gifts, letters, supplies and materials.
Next time you need to ship a package or purchase a product, USPS recommends using their online services rather than visiting them in-store.
In Austin, traffic at the post office has barely slowed down, according to Amber Evans, the customer relations coordinator for Austin's USPS branch.
"I've heard from some of our employees that, 'Yes, it is business as usual.' It may have slowed down just a little bit, but not much," Evans said.
Services accessible online include purchasing boxes, envelopes and stamps; printing mailing labels and scheduling a package pick-up or a re-delivery.
"You don't have to utilize those boxes, you can use your own box," Evans said. "Then you can still print out the shipping label using the Click-N-Ship service."
The packages are shipped via Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express, the fastest options available by USPS.
"If they want to do anything slower than that, then they would have to go into the stores," Evans said.
If no internet access is available, stamps are still available from home.
Evans suggests asking your post office or carrier to drop-off a "Stamps by Mail Order" form. That resident should fill out the form and put it in their mailbox with a check.
Mail carriers will then drop off stamps.
Not all services can be completed online. In those scenarios, USPS offices have social distancing measures in place, including face masks, Plexiglas shields and labels on the floor to indicate 6-feet distancing.
"We love to see our customers in the lobbies, but we want to practice safety measures and take extra safety measures for our employees that are there servicing customers in our lobbies," Evans said.
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