Mail delays continue in York County following the holidays

Erin Bamer
York Dispatch
FILE - In this March 31, 2020, file photo United States Post Office delivery trucks are reflected in the side mirror of a vehicle as postal delivers set off on their daily rounds in Arvada, Colo. The U.S. Postal Service is warning states that it cannot guarantee all ballots cast by mail for the November election will arrive in time to be counted, even if mailed by state deadlines. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Some York County residents continue to report delays in mail delivery throughout and following the holiday season. 

Nationally, the spike in online holiday shopping due to the COVID-19 pandemic caused substantial delays in the delivery of some mail, reported the Washington Post. 

Joseph Butler, a resident of York County, said when he tried to send a birthday card to a relative in early December local post office officials told him there was a backlog of mail, causing delays up to 35 days. Another relative tried to send Christmas cards to Butler's family, but some of them did not arrive until two days after Christmas, he said. 

Post office officials gave Butler several reasons for the delays, he said, including staffing shortages, the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent presidential election. 

"It all happened to them at once," Butler said. 

Butler has not tried to mail anything since then, but he said he's heard several of his co-workers and peers on social media continue to comment on mail delays more recently. 

Desai Abdul-Razzaaq, spokesperson for USPS Corporate Communications for Central Pennsylvania, said in an email statement the U.S. Postal Service delivered a record number of packages during the holiday season but did not specify how many packages were delivered. Abdul-Razzaaq said the high volume of mail and the pandemic contributed to the delays.

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"We are proud of the hard work and dedication of our employees, and will continue to work around the clock to deliver all packages and mail entered into our system," Abdul-Razzaaq said in the statement. 

Abdul-Razzaaq did not respond to requests for an interview. The York Dispatch also called three post offices in the York area and did not receive a response from any. 

This past year, the Postal Service became a political flashpoint when President Donald Trump's administration made operational changes, which included taking some sorting machines offline.

Administration officials claimed the move was designed to streamline a cash-strapped agency. Democrats in Congress, however, claimed Trump was attempting to undermine mail-in voting, the use of which exploded because of COVID-19.