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COVID-19 concerns close Kent's bank lobbies

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COVID-19 concerns close Kent's bank lobbies

Signs are posted on the door of Chesapeake Bank and Trust's main branch in downtown Chestertown Monday morning, March 23 stating that its lobby, like the lobbies of many other area banks, is closed in an effort to safeguard staff and customers against the coronavirus outbreak.

CHESTERTOWN — While financial institutions are considered essential community services that are to remain functioning while other businesses close their doors, local banks are still trying to minimize social contact in their branches.

The Peoples Bank shifted last week to functioning in a drive-thru only capacity as a means to protect the health and safety of customers and staff, a news release states.

At Chesapeake Bank and Trust, the main branch on High Street in downtown Chestertown is closed to the public, except by appointment. The branch at 301 Morgnec Road in Chestertown also will be accepting customers by appointment while continuing to provide drive-thru service.

"We have continued to evaluate our response to this unprecedented situation," said Chesapeake Bank and Trust President and CEO Glenn L. Wilson in a statement. "We are committed to continue meeting all of your banking needs and appreciate your patience. We will reopen our offices as soon as we can."

Other bank chains with branches in Kent County, including PNC Bank and BB&T Bank, are likewise prioritizing drive-thru services and offering in-person meetings by appointment, according to their websites. Banks also have a variety of online and mobile options available through their websites.

The Peoples Bank executive management team will reassess opening its branch lobbies to the public again by March 30, according to its news release.

“At The Peoples Bank, the health and safety of our customers, staff, and the community as a whole is our biggest concern,” said Ralph Dowling, CEO and President of The Peoples Bank in the release. “We feel that closing our lobbies to the public is essential during this national health emergency in order to minimize the risk of exposure to our clients and our staff. We will be closely monitoring this situation with our customers, staff and our local communities in mind. We look forward to serving our patrons and their families safely through this period of uncertainty.”

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