Employees of financial institutions face a low risk of exposure for COVID-19 if the institutions take precautions, such as shields at teller counters, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week.
The CDC has issued guidance for the opening of various facilities that have been closed due to the pandemic. While most of the bank and credit union document covers such now-common steps as employee screening and social distancing, some of the recommendations specifically address issues at financial institutions, such as credit unions.
For instance, shields or other barriers may be installed where social distancing is not possible; the shields should be able to withstand frequent cleaning, the CDC said.
When handling currency or coins, employees should wipe the counter after each customer, avoid touching their face, and clean their hands often after touching money or paperwork handled by customers.
The CDC suggested that banks and credit unions control the number of customers in their facilities at one time—limiting them to the number of workstations available. Employees and customers should be separated in areas where it is possible, including safe deposit vaults, parking lots and cubicles. Visual cues, such as floor markings and signs, may be useful in encouraging social distancing.
Credit unions and banks also should consider discontinuing the use of customer deposit and withdrawal slip stations and providing disposable pens, the CDC recommendations said.
To the extent possible, the CDC suggests that financial institutions should encourage customers to use drive-thru banking services, ATMs, online banking, or a mobile banking app for routine transactions that do not require personal assistance.