Masking up when you enter a business in Alabama isn't a mandatory order any more, but being caught not wearing a mask at one Huntsville post office could land you in hot water.
Postal employees are demanding you put a mask on at the Wynn Drive post office location, according to one WAAY 31 viewer who contacted us to investigate.
“I immediately was told I wasn’t supposed to be in there without a mask,” Huntsville resident Barry Langston told WAAY 31 Wednesday.
Signs that read “mask mandatory” welcome customers inside the post office location.
The only problem, they are not in line with the U.S. Postal Service’s own policies outlining mask rules and enforcement.
Langston is fully vaccinated and he is fuming after his recent trip to mail a letter there.
“I keep up with the CDC guidance, I keep up with the governor's guidance, and with the president's office, and I knew that the post office was not part of the exemptions for not wearing a mask if you’ve been fully vaccinated,” he said.
After the heated exchange, Langston headed back to the post office’s website to see if he could find anything to back up the local mask requirements.
He could not, and neither could we.
We reached out the Postal Service for clarity. They sent us this statement.
““In an effort to be a good corporate citizen and to reflect the practices of the local communities of which we are a part, the Postal Service has made a voluntary decision to generally align with local and state ordinances that require use of face coverings during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. These ordinances do not apply to and are not enforceable against the Postal Service, and we are not putting our employees or the organization in a position of enforcing the local or state ordinance insofar as our customers are concerned,” the statement reads.
“The Postal Service is reviewing the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, particularly to determine how it should be applied to individuals whose vaccination status is unknown. In the interim, we continue to require employees and customers to wear face coverings in our facilities if there is a state or local order requiring them, even if the order is limited to unvaccinated individuals. For locations where there is no local or state ordinance requiring the use of face coverings, then the Postal Service recommends customers wear face coverings while inside postal facilities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Debra J. Fetterly, USPS Spokesperson, Alabama District wrote.
Langston doesn't want to break the rules, but he also is tired of inconsistent enforcement and mixed signals.
He just hopes his frustrating encounter helps clear things up for other people left confused by all the signs.
“All of us want to follow the rules if we don’t know what they are and it’s hard to follow,” Langston added.