USPS warns of possible shipping delays ahead of Christmas

All-day Friday, a constant flow of people walked in and out of Orlando’s main Post Office.  With Christmas one week away, people are trying to send boxes filled with gifts to loved ones out of state. 

"A few different places, California, Maryland, New York," Dee Johnson said. 

Whether they’ll arrive on time?

"I don’t know. That’s the kind of...we’ve been skeptical about the mail and everything going on today. We’re going to see. Hopefully, it gets there on time," Johnson said. 

There’s a big red alert at the top of USPS's website warning that they are experiencing unprecedented volume increases and limited employee availability due to the impacts of COVID-19 saying they appreciate your patience.  USPS spokesperson Michael Prather telling FOX 35 News that locally package processing is going smoothly. 

"We’ve hired a lot of extra people to try and accommodate the influx of packages in the pandemic and through our Christmas season. We’ve got extra people over what we anticipated meeting and they’re making those extra deliveries early in the morning as well as Sunday deliveries to get those packages home," Prather said. 

Raymond Sanchez was getting the last of his holiday packages sent off Friday. 

"Some gifts for my nephew," Sanchez said. 

He’s paying extra for express shipping, in case the mail is slower in Michigan than it is here, and, he’s crossing his fingers that everything he’s ordered online — arrives by Christmas. 

"They’ve been in transit about 13,14 days," Sanchez said. 

He’s warned his children that even the big guy in red is affected by the pandemic. 

"Santa Claus is taking Covid precautions. So things might be a little late. He has to make sure he’s six feet apart from people too.  They’ll understand," Sanchez explained.

Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest coronavirus news.