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3 Newport News Shipbuilding employees test positive for coronavirus

Posted: 6:43 PM, Mar 25, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-25 18:43:16-04
Newport News Shipbuilding employee tests positive for coronavirus

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Three shipbuilders with Newport News Shipbuilding have tested positive for coronavirus.

Jennifer Boykin, the president of Newport News Shipbuilding and executive vice president of Huntington Ingalls Industries, announced first case on Facebook Monday afternoon. She said the person self-reported Monday after being positively diagnosed over the weekend.

While NNS cannot release the name of the employee due to privacy laws, they were able to share some information about the case.

The person works on the second floor of Building 600 and has not been on company property since March 16. They are actively recovering and remain in quarantine.

The shipyard's leadership team has met with the employees who work near the person who tested positive or who came into close contact with them. Those employees are being advised to call the clinic for additional guidance.

Newport News Shipbuilding has been actively cleaning the entire shipyard, including Building 600. They are increasing the frequency of sanitizing high-touch points throughout Building 600, with additional emphasis on wiping down bathrooms, railings, vending machines and elevators in immediate proximity to the employee’s workspace. The increased frequency will continue for a minimum of seven days. They will also ensure additional cleaning supplies are available in the building.

The shipyard will be restricting the communal eating areas in Building 600.

Boykin shared that shipyard leaders learned Sunday night that an Ingalls shipbuilder working in the Pascagoula facility has also tested positive.

Later Monday night, Boykin announced that another employee had tested positive for COVID-19. This person works on first shift on the first floor of Building 4931 and also self-reported after We are very fortunate that this individual also self-reported after confirmation from his doctor.

Boykin says this person has not been on company property since March 18 and is actively recovering while remaining in quarantine.

Shipyard leaders have contacted employees who work near the person or who came into close contact with that person. Based on that, Boykin says a small number of employees have been told to self-quarantine as a precautionary measure.

On Wednesday, Boykin announced a third NNS employee has tested positive for COVID-19. This person also self-reported, allowing the shipyard to promptly notify others and to begin increased cleaning.

Boykin says the third person is a government civilian who works in Building 2 outside the gates in the South Yard area. This person has not been on company property since March 16 and is also actively recovering while in quarantine.

As with the previous two cases, S=shipyard leaders are meeting with those who work near the individual or who came into close contact with this employee, and Boykin says they are being advised to call their medical providers for additional guidance.

NNS has been actively cleaning the entire shipyard, including Building 2, and they are increasing cleaning efforts in this building.

Boykin says officials have developed a new webpage where information on new confirmed cases will be shared. They will be posted once a day before 12 p.m. - including Saturdays and Sundays - here.

Because it’s likely that the number of cases will increase, the shipyard is evaluating how best to provide information going forward. For every confirmed case, Boykin says they will follow CDC guidance and communicate directly with those employees that may have come into contact with someone who has been diagnosed.

"I ask you to join me in keeping these shipbuilders, their families and co-workers in your thoughts and prayers," Boykin wrote.

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