In recent days, local, state and national response to the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved. Bay Area counties – including Alameda – have extended their shelter-in-place orders to 11:59 p.m. May 3. The White House also has extended the federal social distancing guidelines to April 30.
To protect the health and safety of the Laboratory community, employees who are not working on site should continue their current posture, whether telecommuting or on authorized leave, until further notice. Employees should continue to follow current time-charging guidance. Any updates will be provided should the Laboratory receive additional direction from NNSA.
On Wednesday, work resumed on-site for a small number of mission-critical weapons activities. New and refined protocols and tools have been provided to ensure the health and safety of employees, as the on-site workforce increased. Next week, additional employees will be given on-site access as the Lab gradually and safely resumes high-priority projects. Employees involved in these efforts will be notified individually. No one should return to the Laboratory for any reason without specific authorization from their management. These efforts are part of what ultimately will be a safe, deliberate and orderly return to normal Laboratory operations, which will take place over a timescale dictated first and foremost by safety considerations.
Protocols that reduce COVID-19 spread have now been formalized into a Sitewide Work Control Document that outlines the coronavirus hazard in the workplace and the controls that protect employees. All on-site employees must adhere to these protocols.
To protect fellow employees, any worker who is ill now must stay home until they are symptom-free for 72 hours without the use of symptom-altering medications (e.g., fever reducers). This is a change from previous direction, informed by CDC’s recommendation and new evidence of how long virus transmission may occur following recovery from COVID-19 or any illness that has symptoms similar to COVID-19. If a worker becomes ill while on site, it is imperative they inform their supervisor and leave work immediately. If symptoms worsen, they should call their health care provider for guidance.