US Stamps

Virus spread in Pennsylvania further impacts APS, APRL

Dec 14, 2020, 11 AM

By Michael Baadke

Although both organizations are continuing services, the American Philatelic Society and the American Philatelic Research Library are making adjustments as state guidelines in Pennsylvania are tightened to stem the spread of COVID-19.

“As confirmed cases of COVID continue to rise in Pennsylvania and across the country, we remain committed to doing all we can to stop the spread,” executive director Scott English said in a Dec. 14 newsletter addressed to members.

“We continue to effectively balance the needs of our membership and maintaining a safe and healthy team here in Bellefonte.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolfe announced new temporary mitigation measures Dec. 10 that impact nonlive sustaining businesses in the state.

“Only essential employees whose presence is necessary to meet the operational needs of the American Philatelic Society and the American Philatelic Research Library will be working inside the APC [the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pa., where both organizations are headquartered]. All others will telecommute during this period.”

The governor’s order is set to expire at 8 a.m. Jan. 4, 2021.

The society noted that all APS and APRL services will continue during the mitigation orders, including publication of the American Philatelist and Philatelic Literature Review.

“Mailings of stamps, ephemera, books and gifts ordered through the APS StampStore and APRL will continue but may be delayed,” according to the society.

The APS has been closed to visitors since March 2020 following the state’s COVID-19 safety plan. Staff numbers were allowed up to 75 percent of normal for a period after the closure, but those numbers have been tempered as the virus spread across the state.

With the new on-site reductions, the society advises that some delays in services should be anticipated. Telephone messages left at the APS will be returned, and the library will continue to accept requests by telephone and email.

The American Philatelic Society is the largest nonprofit stamp collecting organization in the world, with members in more than 110 countries. Additional information is available online at

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