In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Reserve has plans to print new money that will not have come into contact with the virus, although this may not happen immediately, according to a report by CoinDesk.
The Fed doesn’t currently think that the virus will be worsened by the transmission and trading-hands of dollars, Joey Lee, spokesperson for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, said, pointing to recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) findings. Instead, the spread has happened more via personal contact, not by touching the same dollars.
Because of that, the Fed will not be recommending destroying banknotes from the worst infected areas, which the Peoples Bank of China did last month, taking all money that had been created in zones of high infection.
Lee said the Fed would be looking at the CDC recommendations going forward and keeping up with the ways the virus spreads. The Fed also has a contingency stock of new currency, which it always keeps on hand.
The way the Fed is handling money has changed, however, quarantining U.S. dollars shipped from outside the country from Asia and Europe, Lee said. The dollars are held for a seven- to 10-day period before being deposited, he said.
In recent weeks, as the virus has spread rapidly across the U.S. and infected hundreds of thousands nationwide, the Fed has been taking action to help mitigate the virus’s effects, with rate cuts and other initiatives intended to help the economy.
Other entities have stepped up to help, like Bank of America, which recently allowed customers to request deferments for things like mortgage and credit card payments as the economy slows to a crawl. The bank said deferments will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Foreclosures, evictions and other such actions will also be suspended, the bank said.