JPMorgan Chase suspended plans to open its offices in Columbus, Ohio, after the Midwestern state had its highest day for new coronavirus cases on July 3, bank spokesperson Carlene Lule told Fastinform Wednesday.
The biggest bank in the U.S., with $2.74 trillion in assets, had planned to make Columbus the second city in the country where it would reopen after New York, but it has now paused those plans indefinitely. JPMorgan Chase’s New York and Delaware-based workforces are still slated for a partial return over the next few months.
The company had initially planned to bring employees back starting on July 13, reaching around half capacity in Columbus by Labor Day, September 7.
Ohio’s COVID-19 case count began climbing in mid-June from around 350 to 450 new cases per day to more than double that by the end of the month, peaking on July 3 with 1,597 cases. To date, almost three thousand people have died in Ohio due to the virus.
Over 19,200 employees work for JPMorgan Chase in Columbus. Nationwide, a major insurer that employs over 11,000 people in the city, will shift many employees to remote work permanently, but will maintain its campus there.
Progressive Insurance, which employs between 6,000 and 7,000 employees in Mayfield, Ohio, a town that only has about 3,500 permanent residents, has moved its workforce to be almost entirely remote, and plans to remain so at least until September.
JPMorgan Chase has a long connection to the city of Columbus, where Bank One was based before merging with JPMorgan in 2004. Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s current CEO, joined the company from Bank One as president and chief operating officer at the time.
Bank of America stated plans on Tuesday to bring office employees back after Labor Day. TD Bank and Capital One Financial had similarly cautious plans, while Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley charted out a July return for some office employees.