A Message from BLC Community Bank Regarding the COVID-19 Virus

UPDATED 3/17/2020
 
The health and safety of our customers, employees and community are our top priority. As such, we will be closing our lobby beginning March 18th. We plan to resume full access on April 6th, but will continue to monitor the situation as updates on COVID-19 are released. In the meantime, please continue to use the drive thru, ATM, night deposit box, as well as our 24/7 online and mobile banking services. Please call if you need to schedule an appointment to discuss a loan or deposit service. (920) 788-4141
 
By now, all of you have been impacted in some manner by the CORONA or COVID-19 virus. This message is to provide you with some additional information and let you know what BLC is doing in response to the situation:
 

Background

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the virus known as COVID-19 originated in a remote region of China, several months ago. The original case was caused by contact with an infected bat from an animal reservoir near Wuhan, Hubei Province. Later, there was evidence indicating a spread of the virus through human to human contact. As individuals traveled, the virus was spread to other parts of the world and has now been classified as a pandemic, as the virus has spread worldwide. The virus has spread easily and quickly, because this is a novel strain of virus and no vaccine or pre-existing immunity is in place at this time.
 

Severity

 According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the full clinical picture of the virus is not known, as confirmed cases have resulted in very mild symptoms and also serious symptoms, including death. Older people and individuals with severe existing health conditions (heart disease, lung disease, diabetes) seem to be most likely to contract the virus. Individuals appear to be contagious for a fixed period of time, but this includes a period for some who have yet to exhibit symptoms. As of March 12, 2020, there were 1,629 reported cases in the U.S., including roughly 10 in Wisconsin.
 

Current Situation

With the help of the CDC, most regions in the United States are working to obtain the kits to test for the virus. Large gatherings are being cancelled or avoided, due to the pre-eminent risk of exposure being close proximity to an infected individual. This practice, known as social distancing, is the primary method currently being employed to halt the viruses spread.
 

What BLC is doing

Following guidelines of State and local governments, BLC is carefully monitoring the status of the situation in Wisconsin and the Fox Valley Region. Additional cleaning measures have been implemented and employees have been encouraged to avoid unnecessary travel. However, until it becomes impractical, the Bank will remain open for business as usual. If any employee exhibits symptoms, we will ask them to remain at home, as we would for a potential case of influenza. We would also ask customers to consider the following 3 questions before visiting the Bank:
 
  • Have you traveled outside of the country or to a "hot spot" state recently?
  • Do you have a fever?
  • Do you have a cough or respiratory symptoms?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, we would ask that you stay home, or conduct business through our drive-thru. We would also suggest you CALL (not visit) your doctor for advice.

You can stay safe and help others stay safe with some very simple habits and prevention tactics.
 
  • Stay home if you're feeling sick.
  • Frequently wash your hands using hot, soapy water for 20 seconds—this is the best way to control transmission in normal, healthy adults.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Engage in no-contact greetings. Avoid shaking hands, as well as high fives and touching the hands of other.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or flexed elbow; throw tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
 

Pandemic, not Panic

More than anything we are encouraging everyone to avoid living in fear. Over the past 20 years, the world has experienced at least 10 distinctive viral epidemics. Also, the terrorist attacks on 9/11, the real estate crash and Y2K. Through all of these events, those that were level-headed and took reasonable precautions managed to enjoy a reasonably normal lifestyle and resume normalcy once the situation was resolved. Please be smart and take care of yourself, but don’t be overwhelmed by the current situation.
 

The Future

While we are hopeful that a vaccine will be developed soon, it is likely it will take the better part of a year to get an effective vaccine into the production and distribution stage (CDC). However, the individuals that contract the virus and recover will provide valuable scientific data and will also begin the process of developing natural immunities to COVID-19. Because of pending school closings, we will likely have some employees working from home, similar to many other local companies. Meanwhile, we will continue to monitor the situation and make any necessary changes to continue operating as a full-service bank. As changes occur we will strive to keep you informed.
 
If you wish to review additional information, please go to the websites of the World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control, Department of State, or Department of Health and Human Services.