Local credit union limits number of customers served at one time

Wright-Patt Credit Union is allowing customers inside its retail branches in limited numbers as a precautionary measure in a time of wide concern about Covid-19.

It’s just one example of the wrenching changes affecting commerce in a time of a fast-spreading and still little-understood disease.


“Out top priority is to balance the safety and health of our partners, members and guests with our obligation to provide access to their money,” a note says on the door of one of Wright-Patt Credit Union’s Dayton-area branches.

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“As a result, we are practicing social distancing to help minimize the spread of Covid-19,” the note adds.

The number of customers permitted into the credit union branch at one time is being limited. Some customers are being asked to wait outside.

Customers are also being asked to use drive-through lanes for cash transactions. And coffee service is being temporarily discontinued, the Wright-Patt Credit Union note also says.

“Social distancing” refers to the practice of allowing offers adequate physical space — up to six feet or more, depending on one’s approach — to prevent or slow the spread of communicable diseases, like coronavirus or COVID-19.

“At Wright-Patt Credit Union, our objective is to balance the health and welfare of employees, members, and our community, with our obligation to maintain essential financial services for members,” the credit union said in a statement to the Dayton Daily News. “Unlike some other businesses types, our members may not have other options if they need access to their finances. With this in mind, we want to continue to offer financial services to our members. So, we have implemented a social distancing policy inside our member centers in accordance with CDC guidance

The credit union added: “We are regularly monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and taking guidance from a variety of resources. With our sound preparation, we are able to respect the health and welfare of all of our employees and members while minimizing disruptions.”

Wright-Patt Credit Union is not alone in these concerns. Dollar Bank, which has branches in the Pittsburgh area, has placed similar restrictions on the number of customers doing business inside its outlets.

“Our lobbies are currently still open, however, we have been communicating with our members about our technology-based services,” Jaime Crooks, vice president of marketing for DayMet Credit Union, said in an email. “We are also working to encourage our members to use our drive thru and night drop, rather than walking into a branch.”

Government and other business are instituting sweeping restrictions on who can enter businesses or what can remain open in the hope of “flattening the curve” — lowering the number of infections and illnesses. Restaurants remain open for delivery or drive-through service, but indoor dining has been shut down nearly everywhere. Even McDonald’s has closed dining rooms at company-owned restaurants.

Cruise ships are stuck at sea, schools are closed, daily traffic is at a minimum and Amazon said it plans to hire 100,000 additional workers as consumers turn to online ordering to meet daily needs, even for household staples.

“We are seeing a significant increase in demand, which means our labor needs are unprecedented for this time of year,” the Wall Street Journal quoted in what the newspaper said was a memo from Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of operations .

Messages seeking comment were sent to representatives of other banks and credit unions. This story will be updated.

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