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Pandemic-related coin shortage also present in eastern Iowa

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 11:44 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Signs of the impact of a shortage in coins in the United States, caused by the ongoing pandemic, are showing up in eastern Iowa.

Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust said the Federal Reserve lowered the maximum amount of coins it could order about little more than a month ago. John Rodriguez, executive vice president at the bank, said the bank usually orders $6,000 worth of quarters. The Federal Reserve capped orders about a month ago at $1,000.

Rodriguez said while his branch in Cedar Rapids is getting by, the Waterloo branch has started limiting the number of coins customers can take out. The Cedar Rapids branch is also making unusual adjustments so they don’t run out.

“What we began to do is hold those bags of loose coin so we could use them here, then go back to old school and wrap those coins ourselves by hand. Which can take some time, but that’s what we needed to be able to do,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said part of the problem is production of coins being slowed down because of COVID-19, but it’s also being influenced by businesses being closed and people staying home.

“With business shutting down, and those businesses that produce a lot of the coin, then the banks weren’t getting the coin to go to the feds, and then, of course, us as individuals, maybe not wanting to go out as much, not wanting to go out to the bank, keeping the coins,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said the bank got an email today saying the maximum order of coins is going up, but it’s still around half of what they would normally get.

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