Blood-smeared mail

Allegany neighbors were alarmed by blood-smeared mail (shown here) that was delivered to their homes on North Nine Mile Road over the weekend.

ALLEGANY — For the second time in four years, residents of the area have received envelopes, packages and other mailed items stained with blood from a U.S. Postal Service carrier.

An Allegany resident of North Nine Mile Road, who asked not to be named, told the Times Herald Monday that he and other neighbors on the road received mail smeared with blood on a couple of occasions.

The Allegany resident said he and his neighbors reportedly had experienced other inappropriate incidents with the driver in the past.

“All this stuff is just kind of secondary,” he said. “On Friday when everybody got their mail it was covered in blood.” The same thing happened again Saturday.

The man said he and others contacted the Allegany Post Office, but received no satisfaction regarding the issue. He also contacted the New York State Police as well as U.S. Rep. Tom Reed’s office.

An Allegany Post Office employee who would only identify himself as Barry stated, “We’re dealing with the situation internally here, that’s the only comment I have on that.”

Another North Nine Mile neighbor, also concerned about using her name, voiced similar complaints.

“When I checked my mail Friday night, I had a package and there was blood on the package,” the woman said. “But it was nothing like our neighbors’ up the road — their mail looked like it was massacred.”

While the mail carrier in question was not identified by the Postal Service, Naddia Dhalai, spokesperson for the Postal Service in Cleveland, Ohio, issued the following statement:

“We apologize for this incident. Unfortunately, our letter carrier cut his finger while delivering some of the mail. For customers concerned about any possibly infectious blood, the USPS has no indication the mail carrier involved has any significant illness capable of transmission through blood and the health risk would be minimal, especially if it’s dried blood.

“The Postal Service understands the customers have concerns and we apologize for the incident,” the statement continued. “Anyone who has soiled mail should throw it out in a plastic bag in appropriate trash receptacles.”

The Times Herald reported on a similar incident with mail delivery in 2016, which also occurred in February and involved a postal carrier who smeared blood on mail that he delivered to East River Road and Steam Valley Road in the Olean area.

At the time, Postal Service spokesperson Karen Mazurkiewicz stated the postal carrier had cut his hand on the job, but did not identify the individual.

Mazurkiwiewicz had stated at the time that the health risk to residents would be minimal, “especially if it’s dried blood.”

However, guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated: “Any blood spills — including dried blood, which can still be infectious — should be cleaned using a dilution of one part household bleach to 10 parts water.”

(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at kates_th@yahoo.com. Follow her on Twitter, @OTHKate)

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