Puerto Rico’s credit unions ‘open and alert to COVID-19’
Given the emergency situation that Puerto Rico faces, credit unions will continue to operate during limited hours, with strict prevention measures, and offer their services online as usual, Credit Union Executives Association Executive Director José Julián Ramírez said.
The 113 financial institutions have reinforced health measures since last week in the face of the COVID-19 threat and in response to the Executive Order Gov. Wanda Vázquez issued. They will make adjustments to their service hours to reduce the risks of contagion, he said.
Each cooperative will be announcing their service hours and instructions to be followed by branch visitors.
“Their staff will be responding to the needs of its members. We encourage visitors to comply with the hygiene and safety measures requested, for everybody’s sake,” said Ramírez, who said that branch staff have been instructed to give priority to older adults, if any come seeking services.
“People must be willing to maintain a distance of six feet from each other,” he said.
However, the executive asked citizens to lean toward online transactions, self-service, ATMs and, to clear up doubts, telephone calls or emails.
“Staying home should be our first choice right now and until the emergency is over,” said Ramírez. He also recommended not to withdraw large amounts of money, avoid contact with coins, and use credit cards, which are easier to disinfect.
Due to the nature of their work, co-op staff have been instructed on the precautions they should take when providing customer service, personally, and within their workspace, he said.
“The support they receive from the public will be essential so that operations are not affected, and the island can return to normal as soon as possible,” said Ramírez.