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COVID-19

Traders return to the floor of the NYSE for the first time since late March

Nova Safo May 26, 2020
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Brokers have to sign waivers limiting the NYSE's liability if they’re infected with the novel coronavirus while on the job. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
COVID-19

Traders return to the floor of the NYSE for the first time since late March

Nova Safo May 26, 2020
Heard on:
Brokers have to sign waivers limiting the NYSE's liability if they’re infected with the novel coronavirus while on the job. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

After a period of sheltering at home to slow the spread of COVID-19, some New York Stock Exchange traders return to the floor Monday. There are new health and safety rules in place: face masks, social distancing and no handshakes, among them.

Floor trading is back for the first time since late March when it was suspended. Brokers will be greeted with plexiglass barriers to help maintain distance from each other, and they must submit to temperature checks upon entering the building.

Traders are also asked to avoid public transportation to get to and from work. There’s also no eating on the trading floor, so masks stay on.

Brokers have to sign waivers limiting the stock exchange’s liability if they’re infected with the novel coronavirus while on the job.

Not all floor brokers are returning today, only about 25%. Everyone else will continue to work remotely.


In this age of automation, why are there still people on the New York Stock Exchange floor at all? We took a closer look in the video below.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What’s the outlook for vaccine supply?

Chief executives of America’s COVID-19 vaccine makers promised in congressional testimony to deliver the doses promised to the U.S. government by summer. The projections of confidence come after months of supply chain challenges and companies falling short of year-end projections for 2020. What changed? In part, drugmakers that normally compete are now actually helping one another. This has helped solve several supply chain issues, but not all of them.

How has the pandemic changed scientific research?

Over the past year, while some scientists turned their attention to COVID-19 and creating vaccines to fight it, most others had to pause their research — and re-imagine how to do it. Social distancing, limited lab capacity — “It’s less fun, I have to say. Like, for me the big part of the science is discussing the science with other people, getting excited about projects,” said Isabella Rauch, an immunologist at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Funding is also a big question for many.

What happened to all of the hazard pay essential workers were getting at the beginning of the pandemic?

Almost a year ago, when the pandemic began, essential workers were hailed as heroes. Back then, many companies gave hazard pay, an extra $2 or so per hour, for coming in to work. That quietly went away for most of them last summer. Without federal action, it’s mostly been up to local governments to create programs and mandates. They’ve helped compensate front-line workers, but they haven’t been perfect. “The solutions are small. They’re piecemeal,” said Molly Kinder at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. “You’re seeing these innovative pop-ups because we have failed overall to do something systematically.”

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