U.S. Postal Service officials confirmed Friday a worker at Santa Fe’s downtown post office on South Federal Place has tested positive for the new coronavirus, which has shut down commercial operations and diverted mail pickup from the office at DeVargas Center.
“We believe the risk is low for employees who work at the Santa Fe main post office, but we will keep our employees apprised as new information and guidance becomes available,” said Rod Spurgeon, a Postal Service spokesman.
Postal workers, who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to talk to the media, said they were sanitizing the entire post office and were unsure when in-person services would resume.
Spurgeon said DeVargas Center mail will be diverted to the Coronado Post Office on South Pacheco Street, where people can pick up their deliveries with photo identification.
The Coronado office also will handle mail from post office boxes at Santa Fe Place mall.
The lobby at the downtown post office remains open for use of a self-service kiosk to buy postage and stamps, and all post office boxes are accessible.
Signs on the doors outside said: “In response to Public Health guidelines this Post Office is temporarily closed.” They do not mention mail diversions or the expected length of the closure.
Adding to the confusion for patrons trying to retrieve mail, signs inside the lobby Friday still said pickup of DeVargas Center mail was available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
People wrote notes on signs, asking when service would be available and requesting that postal workers call them back. Some decried the lack of communication from the Postal Service.
One patron who left such a note outside the post office, Susan Bell, said in an interview, “I drive 13 miles each way to pick up my mail. There’s been no communication, and I don’t want to keep coming into town.”
Holly Moon, 73, said she was disheartened that the post office only informed patrons of the closure by putting signs on the door and that there were no answers to her phone calls.
“That’s my only outing during the day and I do it very carefully, but they’re putting more people at risk by not communicating effectively,” Moon said.