Mail, garbage delays in store as omicron wave builds across Minnesota

Workers struggling to keep services running on time


January 11, 2022

Nati Harnik, Associated Press

An official with the regional chapter of the National Association of Letter Carriers said local staffing is down by 20%, mainly due to COVID, and managers have had to fill in on some routes.

As a crushing wave of omicron infections surges across Minnesota, mail carriers and garbage haulers say they're struggling to keep things going.

Some mail won't go out on time, a union official said, and a handful of garbage routes will see delays, according to a private hauler. The delays are brought on by a record-setting surge of COVID-19 cases connected with the highly contagious omicron variant.

"The letter carriers in the city are working so short-handed right now, it's nothing like anything I've ever seen before," said Troy Fredenburg, national business agent for Region 7 of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC). He urged homeowners to shovel their walks and steps, and to leave their front lights on to help letter carriers working well past the usual end of their shifts.


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