During Tough Times for Postal Workers, Some West Siders Say They’re Not Getting Any Mail

By Lisa Kava

So many of life’s normal rhythms have been overturned by the coronavirus. Now mail delivery can be added to the list. The US Postal Service has been pushed to its breaking point by the virus, according to several recent stories. “As thousands of workers nationwide have entered quarantine to stop the spread of the virus, the U.S. Postal Service has acknowledged that there are severe staffing shortages in certain zip codes throughout the city,” Gothamist reported.

While some residents of the Upper West Side have not seen any interruption in service in recent weeks, others say they are experiencing delays, sporadic service or no mail delivery at all.

“The postal workers keep telling me the mail routes are being run regularly. This is not true. It’s been weeks since I’ve seen any mail,” a resident of West 82nd Street wrote in an email to West Side Rag. “Sadly there are weeks of paychecks missing that I cannot get.”

According to the resident, his mail made a sudden appearance on Monday this week but has not been seen since. He attempted to visit the post office but it was “a bit too crowded for me so I left.”

“I haven’t had mail since last Saturday,” said a longtime resident of West 74th Street. “I went to the post office today and was told there’s been a cutback in deliveries because of dwindling staff, and that will be the case for the immediate future.” The resident added that he has not had any trouble with his mail in the 53 years he has lived in the 10023 zip code.

“We have not gotten mail in three days,” exclaimed another person on 75th Street. “When a USPS worker delivered a package and I asked him about it, he said a lot of carriers were out.”

The experience of Upper West Siders seems to vary. Many residents from different blocks have reported business as usual and have not had issues.

“My mail is coming at the same time every day, I have not had any trouble” a resident of West 83rd Street told West Side Rag.

But others have reported iffy mail service, delays and personally retrieving undelivered mail from the post office.

“We are flexing our available resources to match the workload created by the impacts of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We appreciate the patience of our customers and the efforts of employees as conditions change on a day-to-day basis” said Xavier Hernandez, Communications Specialist and spokesperson for the USPS in a statement.

The USPS has coronavirus updates on their website which includes frequently asked questions for residential delivery. The USPS also says that mail is safe to open, and does not see a danger of contamination from the virus.

“Importantly, the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html), the World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses), as well as the Surgeon General have indicated that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail.

Are you receiving mail regularly or experiencing trouble with delivery? Let us know what is happening on your block. And we hope for those experiencing disruptions in service, the issue will be resolved soon.

NEWS | 62 comments | permalink
    1. Lady Di says:

      Awful situation up in the West/North Bronx, with no mail since 3/28. Our Assemblyman Dinowitz is aware and trying to get help from the USPS but no response and the Kingsbridge station (10463) has basically checked out due to lack of masks, gloves, etc. While I understand their concern, to just arbitrarily decide to stop delivering mail and not offer any options is just outrageous. Many seniors in the area are waiting for meds, checks, etc and god knows what is happening to the undelivered mail just sitting somewhere !

      • Lady S says:

        It is sitting at the main office, go pick it up. Postal workers are getting sick as well in outrageous numbers because they work closely together in small areas. Not enough workers if they are all getting infected

    2. elizabeth says:

      10027- haven’t had mail in my building since Monday. Finally got some today but not what my USPS informed delivery email said was coming. Went to the Manhattanville Post Office Wed and they took my info and on Thursday the Postal worker I spoke with at the inquiry window actually called me! She found my mail from Mon-Wed and I picked it up yesterday. I left info for the supervisor again. They said they are very understaffed but had no info on specific routes. The fact that they are still working under extremely stressful and dangerous is amazing.

    3. lynn says:

      I got a huge pile of catalogs and junk mail yesterday but no first class mail from the bank, medicare or tax related paperwork in the past two weeks. All forms that were not accepted online. Very disturbing. In think it’s time to put junk mail on hold.

    4. Sally says:

      I live on W 74th st and have not gotten mail in the past week.

    5. mkmuws says:

      10025, practically down the street from the 104th and Broadway post office. Checked mail yesterday and it was empty. Had gotten informed delivery emails that I had somewhat important mailpieces both Monday and Tuesday. Have not checked today. Unfortunately realized this when I came back in, after already having used the corner mailbox on my way out. I actually had been mindful of what could happen with USPS weeks back and sent some important stuff directly from the PO mailbox. Forgot to do that this time.

      I think we’re all taking things for granted until there is the next new reality. I do think especially for those of us already receiving informed delivery emails, that they easily could have done some kind of messaging on this to inform the public so we can make alternate arrangements where possible. But otherwise I get it and sympathize. They are also frontline workers.

      • mkmuws says:

        Update: checked my mail yesterday, one mailpiece from my Tuesday informed delivery email. My Monday mailpiece is still missing. This latest mail may have been delivered on Friday as we often get our mail very late in the day, I was checking at mid-afternoon Saturday.

      • mkmuws says:

        Update on corner mailbox pickup: for what it’s worth, for outgoing mail, I had sent something through my corner mailbox forgetting that even the mailbox outside the post office might be better. I was able to confirm that it reached its business destination in normal, very quick turnaround time. Have a good day!

        • mkmuws says:

          Final update for anybody still reading this: checked my mail from yesterday, and finally included the old missing mailpiece from my informed delivery email, plus the two new ones. So all caught up even though the oldest came later.

          I had faith they would probably sort it out, but because it was important was a little worried about it becoming completely lost during staffing changes and disarray.

          Thanks again to post office and workers and all “essential” workers. Please take care and do what’s best for your situation.

    6. EmmaB says:

      West 104 no mail or usps packages
      past two days.

    7. Diane says:

      No mail for the last 3 days. 4 days ago, 3 pieces of junk.
      7 days before that…our mailman was doing his thing. Haven’t seen him for a week now.
      West 70th, 10023

    8. Janet Wasserman says:

      Mail slowdown, sporadic and late delivery, and sometimes no delivery began at The Paris (752 WEA) when our deliverer Neal retired. The 10025 station made little or no provision to keep our mail delivery normal. Instead, substitute deliverers took over this route after they finished their own route deliveries. Thus, we saw mail being delivered here between 8 and 9 PM.

      Then the coronavirus epidemic struck with full force and our route was once again a back burner issue. For about a week, we had close to normal delivery with a new deliverer. He disappeared, and other faces have appeared. Now we are back to wondering if and when we’ll get our mail.

    9. Linda Gail says:

      Had my mail on hold until last Tuesday but it was never delivered (which I had requested). Planetarium Post Office does not answer their phone. Left a note for the delivery person who wrote that I need to go to the post office to pick up my mail. Being over 70 that is not what I want to do

    10. Albert says:

      I guess we are really blessed having Lenny on West 93. He has been and continues to be utterly reliable, efficient, friendly, and cheerful.

      • Janis says:

        I just saw this article, and your post. You are so right. Our Lenny is the best! A dedicared employee and a genuinely nice guy.
        We’re fortunate to have him on W.93rd.

    11. Ronald says:

      I live on 91st Street near Riverside Park. I get the most mail in my building and before Covid I have never missed a day getting mail in years. In the last 2 weeks or so we’ve missed deliveries 2-3 times a week. When I look at others’ comments I gather we’re doing quite well so far.

    12. Heike Schilling says:

      Live on West 80th Street, Col/Amsterdam, 10024. I am enrolled in “informed delivery” which previews the day’s mail in pictures. 4 pieces announced this week have not been delivered. One piece for today from the City of New York that I would really like to see.

    13. Janet Wasserman says:

      NO MAIL DELIVERY at all today, Friday, April 3, for 752 WEA, ZIP 10025, a 24-storey multifamily.

      With unemployment rising, there must be some qualified folks out there who can be brought on as temp workers at the USPS. What about mail delivery of the stimulus checks later this month. Will the USPS be ready, willing and able?

    14. kaylord says:

      10023 I’ve gotten a notice for two days in a row that a package could not be delivered b/c the carrier was not able to gain access. We’re home all the time and were home at both times. Nobody buzzed and the buzzer is working. I spoke to a carrier on the street who told me that she was subbing and it’s not her normal route. I don’t want to go to the PO b/c I’m concerned it’s too enclosed.

      • Patricia says:

        @kaylord I had the same issue (I live in 24/7 doorman building on 76th) and getting the same failed delivery messages. I called the USPS 1-800 number every day for 3 days and they could not figure out what was happening. They said those auto messages were not accurate and it was likely an issue they are having at the post office and not because they even tried to deliver. Finally I got a rep who sent a message directly to the Supervisor at the 83rd street Post office. I got my package the next day. Try calling.

      • JV says:

        I had the same issue. I live in a five-story brownstone/townhouse on West 74th. The packages finally got here, though, a few days later, which was a big relief because I was not looking forward to having to track the stuff down. Oy.

    15. WhatsUpDuck says:

      We’re in the midst—epicenter—of a global pandemic.
      Stop whining, switch to direct deposit, use Venmo, and be understanding of this minor inconvenience.
      G-d forbid you must read your copy of The New Yorker ::gasp:: online!

      • Virginia says:

        WhatsUpDuck, You took the words right out of my mouth. Of course, for those waiting on checks and/or meds it’s hard. But, come on, settle down. This virus is just as scary for postal workers. They didn’t sign up to be first responders when they accepted this job. Knock it off.

      • DC says:

        I work in the entertainment industry. We get paid via Entertainment Partners. They do not permit direct deposit, one can pick up a check from their place of work (which has been shut down for over a month, so not an option) or they will put the check in the mail. I haven’t receive my pay for the past two weeks. I realized I’m extremely luck to be able to work from home and keep getting paid. But don’t be upset with people for wanting to receive mail, they’re upset for a reason.

        • Lady Di says:

          thank you! people are so quick to pass judgment without knowing anything about the life of a commenter and why receiving their mail be a more critical issue for them. And how do you know someone hasn’t already tried to pick up their mail at the Post Office only to be rudely turned away.

        • Antoinette Harris says:

          i am a letter carrier AND I DID NOT SIGN UP TO DIE SOOOOO GET OVER IT AND WAIT ON THE MAIL WE HAVE LIVES AND FAMILIES AS WELL THAT WON’T US TO BE SAFE JUST CAN’T WORK FROM HOME LIKE YOU SOOOOO HAVES COMPASSION FOR THOSE RISKING THERE LIVES FOR YOUR CHECK

          • elizaabeth says:

            Thank you for all that you do. My Post Office has done their best to be as helpful as they can and took information from me about my own personal mail as well as for my building. I am very grateful for that.

          • Vincent says:

            Trust me we ALL appreciate the work that you do as I myself am an essential health care worker and provide for the community as a pharmacy owner and not only risking my well being but those of my employees as well. If I were not able to provide the services even under these critical times people would demand answers as to what my game plan would be to ensure those individuals who need their medications can get them. We are not hearing of such from the post offices that are assigned to deliver our mail. THERE NEEDS TO BE COMMUNICATION AND A GAME PLAN IN PLACE NOT JUST SAY GET OVER IT…….

      • mkmuws says:

        Seeing a lot of useful sharing of information here, minimal negativity, til I got to your comment. Yes, everybody lives your same exact life. Thumbs up.

    16. Elaine says:

      Same on UES. Delivery everyday (I see the carrier who is not the usual one) but only one piece in box or none at all. Wonder if all bills are delivered. Seems the sorting at the post office is affected. Sometimes there’s only one bill and I wonder how many bills and other important mail have not been delivered

    17. Judy Harris says:

      W 84th. We didn’t get mail on a couple of Mondays, and then there was a 4-day delay before mail arrived. Our regular postman, Gonzalo, is in Ecuador and can’t get back to the US, and once flights are allowed, he’ll probably be quarantined for a couple of weeks. You can never reach the Planetarium P.O. because they don’t answer their phone.

    18. Julia Dalton says:

      My mail on West 80th Street seems to show up about once a week. Luckily I do everything online including all my banking and paychecks. My heart goes out to the postal workers and all essential workers at this difficult time. Stay healthy. That’s the most important thing.

    19. David says:

      God bless and protect our postal workers

    20. MB says:

      West 72nd btw Columbus & CPW – no mail delivery

    21. Ethan says:

      Apparently, the person who thought up “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” knowingly omitted “pandemic.”

    22. Lourdes Torres says:

      I am a mail carrier working out of 10025. We have had several carriers test positive for Covid19. We are a station with over 200 employees so please have some patience with us. The station is operating with less than half of it’s employees due to quarantine measures and sickness. unfortunately it’s not business as usual not just for us at the Postal service but everywhere. I work on 92st and haven’t been to work for a week. Not because I am sick but because I came in contact with someone who tested positive and it would be irresponsible for me to go to work until I feel that I am “safe” to be around my coworkers and customers. These are trying times so if you see your mail carrier wave hello and thank him…. from 6 feet away! Be safe

      • mkmuws says:

        Yes, for sure be safe. And thank you for the information. Just this write-up was helpful in confirming what each of us is experiencing without any information on the topic. Obviously we can figure out what’s happening, but it helps to get shared info. We are being informed about a lot but not this topic. Our regular guy is great, though it seemed like he was getting unnecessarily close when I saw him personally delivering packages recently, which is always been so good about doing when even private delivery services don’t complete their jobs properly. Haven’t seen him at all this week, hope he’s ok. Best to everyone.

      • Antoinette Harris says:

        thank you im a mail carrier as well

    23. Margaret Kaplan says:

      USPS is not doing it’s part to protect it’s employees. Contact your local politicians and tell them to investigate the lack of supplies and cleanliness of the stations. USPS Employees are coming up positive and they’re not cleaning or sanitizing the work areas

    24. Joe says:

      Thank you to all the USPS employees!!! You guys are the best. Omfg while all these cry babies are home safely tucked in you guys are in the frontlines dealing with a damn virus that’s super contagious and I can imagine how many annoying people come to you all day. Come on man, leave the mail people alone!!! They’re doing the best they can. I am sure there are crappy mail people but guess what??!!?! There are crappy people at your place of business too!!!! I can understand if this is normal regular day but not sure if y’all noticed it’s A DAMN PANDEMIC. PEOPLE ARE DYING BY THE HUNDREDS!!!

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Agreed!

      • mkmuws says:

        Sharing information during a shelter in place pandemic crisis is not being a crybaby. In fact it’s fulfilling our communal duty to each other. Yes, please be aware there is a pandemic. Try not to use the comment section to spew your bitterness during these very serious times.

    25. mkmuws says:

      Thank you for this informative thread on a topic I have seen and heard nothing about. Exactly what we need right now. Communication, information. We all have a million things to worry about (well minus a few seemingly very bored attackers in the comments) so being able to check another box off is always helpful. Best to all.

    26. Noemie Zysermann says:

      West 73rd st/West End. No paper mail for a week. USPS packages are still arriving every few days.

    27. Eric says:

      Folks,

      Just sign up for the USPS “Informed Daily Delivery” Service.
      You will get an email with images of what you should be receiving (the scans do not include magazines or catalogs).

      From their website …
      “Digitally preview your mail and manage your packages scheduled to arrive soon! Informed Delivery allows you to view greyscale images of the exterior, address side of letter-sized mailpieces and track packages in one convenient location.* * Images are only provided for letter-sized mailpieces that are processed through USPS’ automated equipment”

      https://informeddelivery.usps.com/box/pages/intro/start.action

    28. Pat says:

      I am on 74 between Amsterdam and Columbus and have had no mail for 3 days.

    29. Sophia C Nesbitt says:

      I have being having same problem, I know the world is going through a lot but I mean with my pay checks not delivered and I still have my bills to pay..

    30. Sophia Nesbitt says:

      Sorry my zip code 10463 its going on two weeks now no mail 📦

    31. Sophia Nesbitt says:

      Plz I will love for some one to help I still have to go to work and my pay check I get it in the mail I am a home health Aid and really appreciate what the Usps are doing but I really would love to get some mail zip code 10463

    32. Susan Dresner says:

      No one answers when u phone Planertium Station.
      No mail delivered W.89th Street. Has everything shut down at that PO?????

    33. Val says:

      I am very concerned. I live in 10025 Zip code/West 93rd Street, and hardly receive any mail. I am supposed to receive my paychecks and credit card bills and other bills through the USPS, but I don’t see that getting delivered now. I go days without any mail in my lobby mailbox. I am especially worried about my paychecks not being delivered.

    34. Johnny says:

      Postal workers are normal human beings and most have young families, this is main reason of staff shortage.

      • Antoinette Harris says:

        thank you so much for your response PEOPLE DON’T REALIZE WE ARE RISKING OUR LIVES AND FAMILY LIVES SO THEY CAN GET THERE MAIL AND THEY ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT NOT GETTING BILLS

      • Antoinette Harris says:

        thank you for your response EVERYONE SEEMS TO FORGET WE DIDN’T SIGN UP FOR THIS

    35. Antoinette Harris says:

      i am a postal worker risking my life and my families life EVERYDAY by being outside EVERYDAY delivering the mail so other people can stay in and receive their paychecks medication and other critical stuff they need i didn’t apply at the post office to risk my life would have joined the Military for that so to see people Complaining about the mail delivery at this time IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE PERIOD

    36. Emilio Bagnoli says:

      Exactly no mail
      For almost e week
      At 253 west 72d

    37. David S says:

      I’m in the 10023 zip code. Our regular carrier told our building staff that we’ll be getting mail only two days per week going forward.

    38. diane moore says:

      havent seen mail delivery person in 3 days….im n the 48223 neighborhood in the grandmont area…

    39. yama says:

      No mail for 3 days here, either, at 10024 – just over the 10023 border. It’s inexcusable. Like others, above, I’m also waiting for (and depending on) checks, bills, statements.

      I would be happy to deliver the mail if others won’t. It’s not that hard, and it’s not nearly as interactive as grocery stores, et al.

    40. Nicole B says:

      Our building has had many packages not arrive — has anyone else? Would love to know what to do here. I feel for the postal workers, but half our building reported never getting packages on April 4th based on the notes in the lobby.

    41. Paul says:

      We’ve had no mail all week at 255 West 75th St. Packages, yes, but mail in your mail box, not a bit. I rely on checks for freelance work but am out of luck. I would be happy to go work at the post office if they were hiring.