(Bloomberg) -- CME Group Inc. has informed its members of a positive Covid-19 case in someone who’d recently spent time at its eurodollar options pit in Chicago.CME Group made the announcement in a memorandum on Monday, stating that the individual had reported symptoms that morning and was last in the pit on Friday. The trading floor has been disinfected twice since then and will remain open, the memo said. The eurodollar options pit reopened on Aug. 10 after a nearly five-month closure.The company is far from the only organization grappling with returning to the office. But with its pits representing one of the last bastions of open-outcry trading globally, it arguably poses the ultimate back-to-work challenge, as trades are traditionally negotiated by people congregating and calling out to each other across a room. Wall Street’s attempts to restaff its offices have also been hampered by Covid-19 outbreaks, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Barclays Plc having to quarantine groups of traders.At CME, pit access is limited to members and their employees, plus CME Group trading-floor staff, who all undergo temperature screening when entering the building and must sign liability waivers. Face masks are required and movement within the pit is restricted.“The rules are not bendable,” said Todd Colvin, senior vice president in fixed-income options sales with Ambrosino Brothers, noting security guards to monitor social distancing and the length of time people interact, plus stickers on the floor to tell people where they can stand. “They don’t want this to go south,” he said, adding that its a “normal” day for trading despite Monday’s announcement.While trading of eurodollar and Treasury futures, as well as most other CME Group products, is entirely electronic, eurodollar options can also be traded through open-outcry. That method of trading still accounted for about half of the total volume when it was temporarily suspended in March.Eurodollar options reference eurodollar futures, which remain CME’s biggest product even as financial regulators globally attempt to transition away from Libor, the settlement rate used by eurodollar futures.(Adds comment from options salesman in fifth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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