Recently, as seen by comments on Facebook and the Lebanon County Post Office’s website, some local communities have experienced delays in mail delivery, sparking rumors of a potential shift from every day mail delivery to every other day.

“Why are we not getting our mail?” one resident questioned in the comment section of the Lebanon County Post Office website, while another wrote, “Once again, our mail is not being delivered for a week and outgoing mail not picked up [either] at this point.”

Other frustrated residents turned to the Lebanon, PA Happenings Facebook page to voice their annoyance, some questioning whether the delays are indicative of mail delivery eventually switching to every other day.

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However, the U.S. Postal Service says that it has no plans to stop delivering mail every day, and that staffing shortages and increased package volume may be to blame for the delays.

“The United States Postal Service delivers mail to every address nationwide six days a week,” said Freda Sauter, of the USPS corporate communications office. “Additionally, Priority Mail Express is delivered on Sunday. We have no plans to deliver every other day.

“The Postal Service has contended with huge increases in package volume coupled with equally dramatic declines in letter mail,” she told LebTown. “The nation’s logistics supply chain has been upended by surging demand combined with disruptions — some extremely serious — to the surface and air transport industries.”

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Because of the unprecedented challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has produced over 2020 and 2021, there have been occasional impacts to USPS staffing across the country.

In light of these new challenges, Sauter explained that USPS has taken specific actions to continue to serve customers. These actions include hiring additional personnel and assigning more mail carriers from nearby areas in order to ensure continued delivery of any available mail.

“Some positions have been filled already and we are in the process of evaluating and hiring qualified candidates for other vacancies,” Sauter said. “Any positions not filled will be reposted on usps.com/careers.”

USPS has ambitious goals for continuing to rectify the employee shortages, particularly as the holiday season approaches.

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“From January 2021 through January 2022 we expect to hire approximately 100,000 employees nationwide,” Sauter said. “This number covers normal attrition and our peak holiday season.”

The hiring effort is one part of the USPS Delivering for America Plan, through which the Postal Service is investing $40 billion over 10 years in infrastructure and their employees.

“We have been hiring more than 40,000 employees for peak season,” Sauter said.

This peak season typically runs from November through January, as the number of online orders and gift deliveries tend to skyrocket.

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Aubree Fahringer

Aubree Fahringer is a producer and reporter for LebTown.