Delivery services seeing more online business

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) From letters to mail orders, many are ordering online as they follow the governor's stay-at-home order, and that's putting a stress on delivery services like UPS and the U.S. Postal Service.

Deliveries of mail and packages are still heading out as people are stuck at home.

"Yeah, absolutely -- anything to keep out of public spread and infection for sure," said Jessica Chadwell of Burlington, who has turned to ordering more online so she doesn't have to leave the house. "I think its more of an uptick. I typically like to do things in person. Given everything that's going on, I think it's the more responsible thing to do."

Others who normally order online say they would rather shop local during these times.

"It's really gotten me to rethink what's essential and what I need brought to me -- save those services and those things for people who really need them delivered," said Dana Sacks of Burlington.

In a statement to WCAX, USPS officials say they know they play a vital role during the coronavirus, but they admit they are also facing tough times.

"As the Postal Service continues to spend resources in response to this crisis, the national decline in economic activity has led to a rapid drop in mail volumes and a significant loss in needed revenues, which puts our ongoing ability to provide our vital federal service at risk. We will continue to work with policymakers in the months ahead to ensure that Americans have access to the mail during this critical time in our nation's history," said the statement.

The numbers are not in yet for March, but at the UPS Store in Burlington's New North End, they say more people have been in sending and returning packages.

"We are seeing an increase in volume when we look at the first quarter this year compared to the first quarter of last year," said the store's Marc Pratico.

He says the store and delivery crews are following precautions to handle packages in the safest way possible. When it comes to the rise in orders, he says he knows a lot of people try to support local, but with many stores closed online shopping is keeping them busy. "Some of their options are reduced so they are still buying clothing and items online," Pratico said.