Drive-thru parcel pick-up during a pandemic

Residents of Rockford, Ill., are now able to send mail through the local post office all while maintaining social distancing.

The Cherry Valley Postal Shoppe now offers a drive-thru service for parcel deliveries to limit backlogs as online shopping and shipping surge due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re seeing a big uptick in packages and personal things,” manager Anthony Farthing told local news station WREX-TV. “If you’re stuck at home, there’s nothing better than getting a nice care package. It really brightens your day.”

The post office also “hopes to implement a curbside service,” the WREX-TV story added.


Canada Post also operates drive-thru “parcel centres” in several cities, including Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver, where “customers never have to get out of their car,” according to the Crown corporation’s website.

“At the welcome kiosk, they simply scan the barcode on their smartphone or paper pickup notice, then drive ahead to receive the item at the pickup window.”

On March 23, Canada Post made several changes to its operations – including reducing hours of service and encouraging physical distancing – as it continued to “review and quickly adapt our approach with health and safety as our primary goal.”

Other measures include a “knock, drop and go approach” for door delivery, none of which need signatures going forward. Items requiring proof of age, identification or customs payments are sent directly from Canada Post depots to a retail post office for pick-up “with no restrictions on when customers can pick up the item,” the Crown corporation added.

“Our efforts follow the direction and guidance of the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Government of Canada’s lead for COVID-19,” a Canada Post representative told CSN this March, adding the Crown corporation “enacted its corporate pandemic plan in late January.”

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