For the past two weeks the Highland Post Office has faced delivery issues due to lack of a postmaster and staffing issues during the uptick of postal business due to COVID-19. Assistance from neighboring post offices and increased staffing helped the Highland office overcome these issues as of Friday, July 24.
USPS Strategic Communications Specialist for Palm Springs, San Bernardino and San Diego Eva Jackson said that the Highland Post Office, 7745 Boulder Ave, is without a postmaster and that the postmaster from Redlands has taken temporary charge of Highland until a new postmaster is found. She also stated that USPS is conducting emergency hiring due to the staffing shortage. She said that neighboring post offices would be helping Highland until the staffing issues are rectified.
Jackson also said, “The Highland Post Office has experienced a 62.5 percent increase in package volume during Fiscal Year 2020 Quarter 3, April through June, from Fiscal Year 2020 Quarter 1, October through December, which includes the holiday season.”
She added, “Last week, July 18 through July 24, the increase in packages was 138 percent to the same period last year.
“The dramatic increase in package volume is due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Over the past couple weeks, many residents have complained about delivery issues from the Highland Post Office. Most complained that mail was not delivered for up to four days or two weeks. One resident reported that when she went into the post office she saw mail piled up to the ceiling. The resident then asked a post office employee what was going on and the postal worker said that there was not enough staff to process and deliver mail.
When contacted about the delivery delays, the United States Postal Service (USPS) issued the following statement:
We apologize for the recent delays in mail delivery to areas within the Highland community. Certainly, the service reported is not indicative of the level of service we wish to provide.
While we are generally very proud of the manner in which the mail is processed, it is disappointing to recognize and accept that sometimes, no matter how hard we try, errors and delays will occasionally occur.
We are very concerned about mail delays and are working diligently to deal with mail volumes and staffing issues.
Please accept our sincere apology for any inconvenience this matter may cause our customers.
USPS later said, “The [post] office is current as of Friday, July 24, so there should be no more delays.”
Although seeking a new postmaster for Highland, USPS did not give a timeline for when one would be hired.