MONTREAL -- Canada Post says it is handling "Christmas-level" volumes of parcels as Canadians in self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic do more online shopping, and that customers can expect delivery delays as a result.

"Canada Post is now processing and delivering parcels at levels only experienced during the busiest weeks of the Christmas season," Canada Post said in a statement Thursday morning. "We are working hard to respond in a responsible manner, putting the safety of our people, and the communities we serve, first."

Canada Post said the delays are due to a combination of an increase in parcels being delivered as well as the public health measures implemented in its facilities - such as physical distancing measures in order to keep employees the recommended two metres apart - which are adding to the time it takes deliveries to be processed.

Canada Post said it delivered some 1.8 million parcels this past Monday, for example, which it said was "similar to the biggest delivery days we see during the Christmas season."

Parcels being delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic are being done by what Canada Post is calling a "knock, drop and go" approach, to minimize contact between its delivery employees and clients.

Customers should continue to track their parcels online through or the Canada Post app. Parcels that are to be picked up at post offices will not be returned to sender following the customary 15-day hold time, Canada Post added.