The Sandia National Laboratories cleared out a couple buildings on its New Mexico campus last week after confirming positive cases of COVID-19 there, though one of the facilities reopened before the weekend was out.

Sandia said Friday that both Building 836 and Building 867 had closed after a positive test was confirmed among the occupants of each.

Following its usual procedure for rebooting work space used by someone with COVID-19, Sandia sanitized the closed buildings, cleaning floors and surfaces, and tossing any food not left in a refrigerator.

Reopening Saturday morning was Building 836, which houses Sandia’s Weapons Engineering Product Realization Environment facility: a sort of virtual reality workshop where Sandia personnel can examine representations of nuclear-weapon designs. 

At deadline Tuesday, Sandia had not said when Technical Area 1’s Building 867, the Military Liaison Training and Storage building, would reopen.

As of last week, Sandia had confirmed a total of 18 cases of COVID-19, combined, at its Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., campuses. Eleven of those were in Albuquerque.

Sandia has about 12,500 employees, of whom between 65% and 70% were teleworking after May 27, when the National Nuclear Security Administration approved the lab’s plan to start returning more people to the sites. Prior to that approval, between 70% and 75% of the workforce were teleworking during the pandemic. The remainder were either working on-site, or unable to work, wherever they were.