COVID, staffing shortages cause mailing delays in Elmhurst, USPS says

ELMHURST, Ill. (WLS) – Some Elmhurst residents complain that they are not receiving mail from their United States consistently.

At 87, Bob Baumgartner says he goes to his mailbox three times a day to check mail. Most days he is disappointed because he made the trip.

“We didn’t get it for a week and we finally got it yesterday and it’s about 2 inches thick,” says Baumgartner.

Bruce Goodman and Greg Eisenbraun didn’t receive regular mail, and it was especially troubling for them because they were both retired mail carriers from a nearby suburb.

Greg Eisenbraun said: “I’m still waiting for a lot of things that should have been here, but I’m getting bills that are past due.

“I understand COVID is affecting things that are affecting all businesses,” Goodman said. “But mail from the US has to be shipped and they’re failing.”

A spokesperson for USPS District 1 declined an interview but said in a statement:

“Our workforce, like everyone else, is not immune to the human impacts of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. We will continue to flex our available resources to accommodate workload and we are proud of the efforts of postal workers in Elmhurst.”

As president of Branch 825 of the National Mail Carriers Association, Jay Ricke represents 3,000 suburban mail carriers. Ricke confirmed Elmhurst station has been hit hard by COVID but maintained that there were other problems before the pandemic.

“COVID was a problem but I will tell you it was the staff shortage that really created the problem,” Ricke said.

According to Ricke, US carriers from other suburbs are being asked to help provide temporary Elmhurst routes, but the real solution is to hire more full-time carriers.

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