As Montana remains in Phase 2 of the statewide reopening process, I would like to provide you with an update on where we are with respect to our decision to keep our branch lobbies closed to the general public and welcome members by appointment only.
Our lobbies temporarily closed on March 19, and since that time we have helped members exclusively through our drive-thru tellers and call center. For those who required services that could only be accomplished in a branch, we have made special appointments that afforded us the opportunity to sanitize our branches in a manner consistent with current health guidelines. We will continue to make these services available until we are able to return our lobbies to full service.
I recognize that many members may have questions on why we are continuing these restrictions while other local financial institutions may be returning to business as usual.
Whitefish Credit Union exists to serve the needs of our members and in times like these our objective is to provide services in a consistent, reliable, and safe manner. As we consider our options, we also take into consideration the feedback we receive from our members. Since our lobby restrictions were put in place, we have received near unanimous support with our decision to prioritize the safety of our members and employees. This will remain our priority as we navigate the pandemic, and we will continue to encourage members to utilize our services in a manner that promotes social distancing.
As the Northwest Montana economy is heavily reliant on outside visitors, our objective is to ensure we don’t expose our members or employees to the potential of a local flare-up of the virus that could then reduce our members access to financial services, even for a short period. When we are confident that we can open our doors and keep them open without exposing our employees and members to any unnecessary exposure to the COVID-19 virus, we will do so expeditiously. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and actively review all available data in determining the reopening of our branch lobbies. To be sure, we will be excited to welcome you back to our branches soon when we are able to ensure the safety of everyone who visits.