Rising to the challenge

Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan is praising USPS employees for their service to the public during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Across the nation, Postal Service employees are continuing to accept, process and deliver mail. They know that our customers count on us to deliver their medicine, supplies, checks and other critical mail. I thank all of our employees for their dedication,” Brennan said.

The organization is continuing to provide employees with information to protect themselves during the pandemic, including special Blue and LiteBlue pages with information sheets from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), videos and other resources.

The Postal Service is also regularly updating employees through stand-up talks, articles in postal news publications, messages on video monitors inside postal facilities, and materials for area vice presidents to distribute at the local level.

“Our organization takes this pandemic seriously. The safety and well-being of our employees is our highest priority. We’re closely following the guidance of the CDC and other public health authorities, and we’re working to provide our employees with the most up-to-date guidance,” Brennan said.

In addition to sharing CDC’s guidance on ways to avoid contracting and spreading the virus, the Postal Service is providing employees and customers with information regarding mail and packages.

Both the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) have indicated there is no evidence the virus can spread through the mail. According to WHO, the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low, and the risk of catching the virus from a package that has been moved, traveled and exposed to different conditions and temperatures is also low.

Additionally, Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams has stated there is no evidence that the virus is being spread through the mail.

USPS leaders meet daily to discuss operational matters related to the pandemic, and they closely coordinate with other organizations on the response, including labor unions, management associations, industry groups and other federal agencies.

In addition to delivering for customers, the Postal Service is working to keep them informed through educational posters in Post Office lobbies, communications on digital message boards at large Post Offices, service alerts on usps.com, and special messages through Informed Delivery, a notification service that allows residential customers to receive digital previews of their incoming mail.

NPF canceled

The National Postal Forum, the mailing and shipping industry’s largest annual conference, won’t be held this year.

USPS and the National Postal Forum organization announced the cancellation this week, citing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health authorities that have recommended no large gatherings in the United States during the next two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The conference, also known as NPF, was slated to be held from April 26-29 in Orlando, FL. The annual meeting draws hundreds of attendees and features presentations and panel discussions with Postal Service leaders, mailing and shipping workshops, professional development courses, and a hall featuring exhibitors who display their products and services.

In a message to Postal Service employees, Marketing Vice President Steve Monteith explained that the decision was made out of an abundance of caution and thanked those who helped plan the event.

“Whether it was customer outreach, content development, logistical support or any of the thousands of tasks it takes to effectively put on an event like the forum, I thank you. As we look forward, continue to work with our customers and vendors to offer them outstanding service and solutions, especially during these trying times,” Monteith wrote.

In a statement on its website, the NPF organization said it will provide participants with information on the cancellation of registrations, exhibition space, sponsorships and advertising.

“We ask for your understanding and patience. We will provide these updates with additional details in the coming weeks,” the organization wrote.

The organizers also asked participants to save the date for the 2021 NPF, which is scheduled to be held from May 2-5 in Nashville, TN.

Easy as 1-2-3

The Postal Service is sharing a video from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that shows the steps to properly wash your hands.

“Handwashing is one of the most important ways you can keep from getting sick and spreading germs to others,” Michele Hlavsa, a CDC epidemiologist, says in the video.

CDC recommends proper handwashing to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

The video, which lasts about three minutes and is titled “Fight Germs: Wash Your Hands!”, also highlights the importance of not touching your face or your food with unwashed hands.

Postal Service employees can watch the video on the Link website as well as the new Blue and LiteBlue pages that feature COVID-19 resources.

USPS is regularly sharing guidance from CDC to help employees guard against COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.

In a special edition of “Business Focus” released last week, Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan updates employees on COVID-19.

Remember Maine

The dedication ceremony for the Maine Statehood Forever stamp, scheduled for March 15, has been delayed.

The stamp was released on that date as planned, and customers can purchase it at Post Offices and usps.com.

The Maine Bicentennial Commission, the host of the dedication ceremony, postponed its Statehood Day ceremony amid concerns about large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will reschedule the statehood celebration for a date when everyone can safely come together to join us in observing 200 years of Maine statehood,” said Bill Diamond, a state senator and the commission’s chairman.

The Postal Service said it will schedule a special dedication for the stamp at a later date that will likely coincide with the new date for the Statehood Day ceremony.

The stamp, which features a striking depiction of Maine’s jagged coastline by painter Edward Hopper, marks the 200th anniversary of the state’s admission to the union.

The stamp is the latest addition to the Statehood series, which also includes last year’s Alabama entry.

News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

Scanning snapshot. This week’s scanning snapshot looks a lot like last week’s scanning snapshot.

The national rating was 97.86 percent for the week ending March 13, up from 97.77 percent from one week earlier.

The top three areas were Western (98.18 percent), Eastern (98.03 percent) and Great Lakes (97.95 percent) — the same areas that led one week earlier.

Like the previous week, the top three districts were Dakotas (99.19 percent), Western Pennsylvania (98.66 percent) and Nevada-Sierra (98.61 percent).

Among the seven areas, Northeast recorded the biggest improvement. It ranked fourth for the week with a rating of 97.87 percent, up 0.05 percent from one week earlier.

The most improved district was Salt Lake City, which ranked 21st among the 67 districts with a rating of 98.17 percent, up 0.9 percent.

Scanning data allows customers to track their mail and packages, which helps USPS deliver excellent service, boost loyalty and drive revenue.

To see the latest data, go to the Informed Visibility website and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.”

Postal Bulletin. Postal Bulletin’s latest issue features a reminder about the importance of removing tags from mail transport equipment.

Updates to the Domestic Mail Manual and information about this year’s census mailing are also included.

Got news? Email your submissions to uspslink@usps.gov.