The Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories combined picked up less than a handful of new confirmed COVID-19 cases last week, the New Mexico nuke sites reported late last week after Defense Daily’s deadline.
Sandia’s cumulative case count rose to 63 from 60, with all three new cases logged at the lab network’s main campus in Albuquerque. The count of confirmed cases at Sandia’s Livermore, Calif., site held steady at 11 for a fifth consecutive week, according to a labs spokesperson. Sandia provides COVID-19 tests internally for any employees who wants them and had processed 2,532 tests as of Friday, up 114 from the prior week.
At Los Alamos, which requires employees to submit to mandatory, random COVID-19 testing inside the fence, there were 57 confirmed cases as of Friday, up only one confirmed case from the week before. Los Alamos, which also performs its own tests, had processed 5,229 COVID-19 tests as of Friday, up 337 from the week before, a spokesperson said.
At each lab, only about half of the workforce is reporting to the site each day, the spokespersons said.
The Department of Energy’s semiautonomous National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) owns the labs. Los Alamos, the world’s first nuclear-weapons laboratory, designs weapons. Sandia designs the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons.
Nobody at either lab was confirmed to have died of COVID-19 at deadline. According to the latest NNSA-wide figures, provided Friday by an agency spokesperson in Washington, there had been 622 cases of COVID-19 among contractors and civil servants across the entire NNSA complex. Two of those cases had proved fatal, as of Friday, and fewer than 80 were active, at that time.