COVID, staffing shortages to blame for mail delivery delays in Elmhurst, USPS says

ELMHURST, Ill. (WLS) -- Some Elmhurst residents are complaining that they are not getting their U.S. mail consistently.

At 87, Bob Baumgartner said he has been walking to his mail box three times a day to check for mail. Most days he's disappointed he made the trip.

"We didn't get it for a week and we finally got it yesterday and it was about two inches thick," said Baumgartner.

Bruce Goodman and Greg Eisenbraun have been missing regular mail deliveries and it is particularly troubling to them since they are both retired letter carriers from a nearby suburb.

"I'm still waiting for a lot stuff that should have been here but I'm getting bills that are already past due," said Greg Eisenbraun.

"I understand COVID is effecting things it's effecting all the businesses. But the United States mail has to be delivered and they are failing," said Goodman.

The spokesman for USPS District 1 declined an interview but said in a statement:

"Our workforce, like others, is not immune to the human impacts of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. We will continue flexing our available resources to match the workload and we are proud of the efforts of postal employees in Elmhurst."

As Branch 825 president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, Jay Ricke represents 3,000 letter carriers in the suburbs. Ricke confirmed the Elmhurst station has been hit hard with COVID but maintains there were other issues before the pandemic.

"COVID is a problem but I'll tell you it's really a shortage in staff that created this problem," said Ricke.

According to Ricke, U.S. carriers from other suburbs are being asked to help deliver the Elmhurst routes temporarily but the real solution is hiring more full time carriers.
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