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JPMorgan Chase workers sent home after employees test positive for coronavirus

Back to the office in COVID-19 era
Back to the office in COVID-19 era 05:33

JPMorgan Chase has sent a number of securities traders in New York City back home after some employees tested positive for the coronavirus, a setback for the banking giant as it moves to start bringing workers back to physical offices.

JPMorgan has been "managing individual cases" of employees testing positive "across the firm over the course of the last few months and following appropriate protocols when they occur," bank spokesman Brian Marchiony said Tuesday. He declined to say how many had tested positive.

At least one case occurred in an employee who worked on the fifth floor of the company's New York City office, according to Bloomberg, which first reported news of the positive tests. News of the infection was communicated to employees on Sept. 13 — less than one week after workers began returning to the bank's headquarters, according to the report. 

New York-based JPMorgan has been insisting its traders and senior management return to their physical offices, setting a required start date of Sept. 21.

President Donald Trump last week tweeted congratulations to the bank for its push, saying that it was ordering "everyone BACK TO OFFICE." JPMorgan, however, never had plans to reopen its entire office or return all workers to a physical location.

Economist: Full reopening won't happen until ... 07:02

Marchiony declined to say whether JPMorgan would continue its push to reopen the offices or what percentage of the its workforce of about 257,000 was now working physically in branches and offices.

The bank did not immediately respond to CBS MoneyWatch's request for comment. 

Few other banks or financial companies had been as insistent as JPMorgan to return its workers to the office. For example, American Express, which has a substantial presence in New York City like JPMorgan, announced that all its employees could continue to work remotely until July 2021.

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