The Department of Energy on Friday reported three more cases of COVID-19 among its workforce in the Washington capital region, including the first confirmed case at the agency’s Germantown, Md., building.
That brings the total confirmed number of cases at DoE headquarters to at least eight, according to a series of statements the agency has posted since March 18. The agency’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) maintains and modernizes nuclear warheads and bombs.
Of the three confirmed DoE headquarters cases announced Friday, one had been away from the building where they work since March 13, another since March 18, and another since April 1. Two of these people work in the Forrestal Building in downtown Washington, D.C., the other in Germantown. The statement did not specify which of these people left which building at which time.
All three employees are in quarantine, Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette stated.
As with prior confirmed cases, “DoE is notifying employees who worked in close proximity to these individuals and is deep cleaning their immediate and surrounding work areas,” according to the latest statement from Brouillette.
One person who worked at DoE headquarters died from COVID-19, Brouillette wrote last week in a message to employees.
On Friday, though, he said that “one of the previously reported confirmed [COVID-19 positive] employees at Headquarters has been cleared.” A DoE spokesperson said Monday morning that this person, who had been in quarantine, is now well.
There were at deadline Monday 1,875 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Washington, D.C., with 50 fatal cases, according to a tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. There were 1,631 confirmed cases, including 42 fatal cases, in Montgomery County, Md., the host county for DoE Germantown.
No COVID-19 Cases So Far for Huntington Ingalls in DoE Complex
Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII] said Friday that none of its employees at Energy Department sites have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
Also, “we do not have any HII personnel at the sites that are not able to telework” during the pandemic, spokeswoman Beci Brenton said by email.
Huntington Ingalls unit Newport News Nuclear is an integrated subcontractor on the Triad National Security contract for management and operations at Los Alamos. The company is also part of the management and operations contractor for the Savannah River Site, where the NNSA harvests tritium for nuclear weapons. The radioactive hydrogen isotope increases the yield of thermonuclear weapons but decays relatively rapidly, meaning all nuclear weapons eventually need tritium refills.