Wheatland Bank Response to COVID-19
March 13, 2020
At Wheatland Bank, the health and safety of our customers and employees are of the utmost importance as we continue to closely monitor developments with the coronavirus (COVID-19). Rest assured, Wheatland Bank had a Pandemic Preparedness Plan in place long before this outbreak, and we were therefore well prepared to minimize the risks associated with it. Our team is focused on protecting the health of our employees, customers and communities while ensuring that critical banking services and functions will remain uninterrupted.
Here are some of the steps Wheatland Bank is taking…
Implemented the Wheatland Bank Pandemic Command Team
Wheatland Bank’s Pandemic Command Team, comprised of our executive officers and other senior department leaders, has been meeting daily to execute the key steps of the Pandemic Plan so as to minimize any risk to our employees and customers, and ensure we are able to provide full financial services to all of our valued customers through this pandemic. We are meeting telephonically with bankers from our state and across the country to share ideas and strategies being deployed to fight this virus. We are currently not aware of any employees or customers who are ill from the virus, or who may have been exposed, but should this change, we will take even more steps to quarantine those employees and others they may have been in contact with. Should it become necessary, we are prepared to close branch lobbies and continue our operations from our drive-thrus. To date, we have no such plans to do so.
Communicating frequently with employees as the situation evolves
We are keeping our employees fully informed and trained on executing our Pandemic Preparedness Plan. All employees have been told to err of the side of caution and stay home, if they are feeling ill or may have been exposed to someone else who is. These employees have been reassured that they will receive full pay and benefits during any such time away from the Bank.
Increasing our preventative sanitation of branches and offices
We are committed to keeping our branches and offices safe. This includes increasing the frequency and depth of cleaning including frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces, counters, door handles and customer waiting areas with EPA-registered disinfectants. Our employees are trained on proper hygiene and numerous preventative measures to protect themselves and our customers from respiratory illnesses.
We have taken extra precautionary steps, beyond the recommendations of the CDC and other health organizations, by suspending all non-essential business travel and non-essential in person meetings and attendance at community functions, conferences, etc. We have separated certain key employees within a team to different locations and implemented secure VPN accessible remote workstations so mission critical employees can work remotely from home should the need arise.
Discouraging employees to avoid traveling by air to higher risk areas
We are monitoring all scheduled personal time off and planned personal travel of our employees and are discouraging our employees from traveling by air or to higher risk areas at this time. We have taken a very conservative stance by proactively quarantining employees from our offices for up to 14 days, if they have traveled by air for personal reasons in recent weeks. Fortunately, due to our significant preparedness, these employees will generally be able to work from home and remain productive.
Steps you can take…
If you are not feeling well or feel you or a family member have been exposed, we encourage you to not come to the branch, but to bank with us from home. Wheatland Bank offers a full suite of digital banking options that will allow you to maintain access to your accounts, pay your bills and deposit checks from the convenience of your home. If you are not currently enrolled in Online or Mobile Banking, please contact your local branch and a staff member will assist you with the enrollment process. If you need a debit or credit card, or help setting up Apple or Android Pay, please call us. We have employees available by phone during normal working hours, and telephone banking is available after hours at 888-345-5146.
Stay informed. For more information and the full list of recommendations from the CDC, please see the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.
At this time, we are maintaining normal business hours while enabling more remote work options for our employees. We will update the Wheatland Bank website if there are any changes or interruptions to service that impact our customers.
Please contact your banker or local branch, or call us at 888-896-2577, if you have any questions or concerns about how COVID-19 may affect your business or personal finances.