Canada Post employee, Paula Picard, local union president of CUPW, April 22, 2020 said employees are doing what they have to do and are doing the best they can in the with the unprecedented increases in mail during COVID-19. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Prince Rupert has unprecedented mail increases during COVID-19

Just use ‘the wave’ to greet postal workers and wipe down mailboxes

Canada Post personnel in Prince Rupert are processing and delivering more mail and packages during COVID-19 than delivered during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Canada Post reported that on April 20, over 1.8 million parcels were delivered to Canadians throughout the country. Record numbers of parcels continue to delivered to Canadians during the coronavirus pandemic.

“With many Canadians isolating at home and shopping more online, Canada Post is now processing and delivering parcels at levels only experienced during the busiest weeks of the Christmas season. We are working hard to respond in a responsible manner, putting the safety of our people, and the communities we serve, first,” Canada Post said in press release on April 22.

Brenda Parisiene, acting local area manager for the North Coast, said these are definitely trying times, for sure. Canada Post is advising customers across the country to expect delays with their parcel deliveries. The heavy volumes, combined with new safety measures implemented in the processing facilities, means mail processing times are longer.

“Our carriers and staff are coping very well. We are not experiencing any backlog with the high volumes being received in Prince Rupert. We are managing to keep up,” Parisiene said.

READ MORE: Mail destroyed after Canada Post truck flips, catches fire near Prince George

“There has definitely been increase so we have hired a few more people… We can’t hire a lot of additional staff and bring them in, but people have stepped up to the plate to do a little bit extra, which is really good to see,” Parisiene said.

Planning for the busy period of Christmas is completed during the preceding eight months of the year and is expected, however with COVID-19, adjustments have had to be made.

“Our social distancing has been adjusted and we’ve got extra cleaning of the offices, extra dynamics that take place, but basically it was a little rough to start, where every one got used to the new world,” Parisiene said, “Now we seem to be coping.This is the new norm we are having on a day to day basis…We are just trying to get used to the processes.”

“Canada Post is proud to continue providing an essential service to Canadians as everyone does their part to stop the spread of the virus. Our top priority from the start has been to put safety first. That has meant implementing significant changes right across our operations, following the guidance of national and local public health authorities,” Canada Post said.

A couple of things residents of Prince Rupert can do to assist the staff, Parisiene said, is to keep the social distancing in mind as the carriers do appreciate having ‘the wave’.

“Periodically disinfecting the mail boxes too, just to make sure they are keeping on top of that to assist with the initiative While (employees) are using gloves and disinfectant they have available to them, every little bit will help and make them feel more secure.”

“Across the country the carriers are getting lots of little thank-yous. They appreciate that as it is stressful times for everybody,” Parisiene said.

READ MORE: Canada Post not stopping amid COVID-19, but changes made to package delivery

Canada post has implemented a knock, drop and go approach to parcel delivery at the door which eliminates the need for signatures and increases social distancing measures. For parcels that are required to be picked up from a depot, the 15 day pick up period has been suspended. Plastic guards have been installed at the counters. Customer who are ill or showing any flu like symptoms are are requested not to come to pick up parcels.

“We thank Canadians for their continued patience and support for the measures we’ve put in place for everyone’s safety. Please continue to provide our people with at least two metres of space when you see them out in the community or at a post office,” Canada Post said.

K-J Millar | Journalist
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Canada Post employee, Paula Picard April 22, 2020 said employees are doing what they have to do and are doing the best they can in the with the unprecedented increases in mail. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

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