Face coverings

The Postal Service no longer requires employees and contractors who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to wear face coverings, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

The updated face covering policy, announced July 16, aligns with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

USPS employees and contractors who have not been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 are still required to wear face coverings in any situation in which they cannot achieve or maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing.

They must also wear face coverings in public-facing settings where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

According to the new guidance from the CDC and OSHA, people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks or more after they have completed their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The Postal Service does not require supporting verification of COVID-19 vaccination status, and managers and supervisors should not request this information.

The Postal Service encourages employees to continue to take precautions — including washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds — to prevent the spread of the virus. Also, employees may continue to voluntarily wear face coverings, if they would like to do so.

The Postal Service will distribute a stand-up talk for managers and supervisors to announce the new face covering policy to employees.

Out of this world

A stamp honoring visionary author Ursula K. Le Guin, the 33rd in the Postal Service’s Literary Arts series, will be released July 27.

Le Guin wrote prolifically in several genres but was best known for such richly imagined science fiction as “The Left Hand of Darkness” and “The Lathe of Heaven.”

She was a success in a genre overwhelmingly dominated by men, elevating fantasy into “high literature,” in the words of literary critic Harold Bloom.

In 2000, she was named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress. Le Guin died in 2018.

The 95-cent stamp depicts a scene from “The Left Hand of Darkness” on which the author’s portrait, based on a 2006 photograph, is superimposed. Donato Giancola was the artist and Antonio Alcalá was art director.

The stamps are for use on 3-ounce letters and will always be valid for that weight. They can be purchased at Post Offices and usps.com.

Handy reference

The Postal Service has installed software on ACE computers that permanently displays workstation specifications and other information on the desktop.

The information will be particularly helpful to users seeking assistance from the IT Service Desk.

Finding workstation specifications can be cumbersome for many users.

Some information, such as serial and device identification numbers, can be found by right clicking on the Windows icon on the bottom left side of the desktop and clicking “system.”

Hard drive storage, memory and other information are located elsewhere.

 When users have difficultly locating this information, it extends IT Service Desk calls and wait times.

 The software upgrade permanently displays workstation specifications information in the upper right corner of the desktop. The information automatically refreshes every two minutes.

 If you don’t see the workstation information on your ACE desktop, log off or reboot the computer.

For assistance, call the USPS Help Desk at 800-877-7435 and say “workstation information deployment” when prompted.

Wellness webinars

Woman wearing fitness clothing warming up

Postal Service employees can participate in a new webinar series to learn about a variety of wellness topics.

Kaiser Permanente, a provider of health plans for federal employees, will offer the “Mindful Monday,” “Thriving Tuesday” and “Wellbeing Wednesday” virtual sessions.

Here’s an overview of the webinars and when they’ll be offered (all times are Eastern). Select the session title to go to the registration website:

• “Summer Safety.” Learn about preventive measures and how to recognize the signs of heat-related illness to protect yourself and others during the summer. Wednesday, July 28, from noon-1 p.m.

• “Finding More Margin in Your Day.” Get tips to manage time, ease stress, create healthier boundaries and build more self-care and downtime into your day. Monday, Aug. 9, from noon-1 p.m.

• “Flu Awareness.” Get the latest news about the flu. Learn the difference between the flu and a cold and discover what you can do to prevent both. Tuesday, Aug. 10, from 2-3 p.m.

• “Ready, Set, Goal.” Learn how to identify a behavior, target and explore motivational strategies, and create habits that stick. Wednesday, Aug. 25, from noon-1 p.m.

• “Healthy Eating and You.” Find out what a healthy plate looks like and how to plan a healthy diet. Tuesday, Sept. 7, from 2-3 p.m. EST.

• “Guided Meditation and Seasonal Self-Care Renewal.” Wind down the summer and focus inward for renewal. Focus on building immunity for the fall and winter months. Monday, Sept. 13, from noon-1 p.m.

Participation is voluntary. Nonexempt employees may only participate off the clock or during authorized breaks.

For more information, email the USPS Health and Wellness team.