(Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co <JPM.N> sent some of its Manhattan workers home this week after an employee in equities trading tested positive for COVID-19, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday, citing a person familiar with the matter.
News of the infection, on the fifth floor of the bank’s 383 Madison Ave. building, was communicated to employees on Sept. 13, according to the report https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-09-15/jpmorgan-sends-some-traders-home-after-worker-contracts-covid-19?utm_content=business&utm_source=twitter&cmpid=socialflow-twitter-business&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&utm_medium=social&sref=WJKVI5nK.
A JPMorgan spokesman said the bank has been “managing individual cases across the firm over the course of the last few months and following appropriate protocols when they occur.”
The bank executives had previously told managing directors and some executive directors within its sales and trading operation that they must return to the office by Sept. 21.
Earlier on Tuesday, before the media report, JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon dismissed concerns over asking staff to return to the office.
Dimon, who said he has been going to the office for three months, noted that productivity had dropped in certain jobs. He also said working from home has negative effects in society that most people don’t appreciate, including drug overdoses.
“Everything we do is good,” Dimon said.
Wall Street banks had sent workers home in mid-March to help stem the spread of the virus, but that proved disruptive for some heavily regulated or technology-intensive functions, such as trading and other compliance roles.
JPMorgan in April was the first big bank to announce steps to return to normal amid a growing debate over reopening the U.S. economy.
At the time, the company said it was working on a plan to bring thousands of employees who have been working from home back onsite in stages.
(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Madhvi Pokhriyal in Bengaluru and David Henry in New York; Editing by Aditya Soni and Krishna Chandra Eluri)