NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. banks have been stocking up on masks and other supplies and setting up acrylic barriers to prevent spreading the novel coronavirus as they ready their branches for the country’s gradual reopening, executives and suppliers told Reuters.
Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) has installed over 20,0000 acrylic barriers across branches to prepare for more foot traffic as shelter-in-place orders ease, spokesman Matt Card said. The bank requires employees to wear masks, and has stockpiled enough so that each employee receives one a day, he said.
Capital One Financial Corp (COF.N) is also installing barriers, enhancing deep cleaning protocols, placing social-distance markers for queuing and providing hand sanitizers and masks, said spokeswoman Devon Gunn. It will also provide masks to customers if they arrive without one, she added.
Banks struggled to equip their branches with sufficient supplies at the outset of the crisis, when other essential workers with more crucial jobs – including medical staff, grocery clerks and delivery people – needed them more.
It has become easier to source these materials, executives and suppliers said.
“Now we have a steady supply moving through all of our branches,” said JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) spokeswoman Anne Pace. The largest U.S. bank is installing acrylic shields at teller stations and cubicles in branches that lacked glass barriers, she said.
Some banks and their employees got creative when supply-lines were tight.