Weapons Complex Monitor Vol. 33 No. 29
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Weapons Complex Monitor
Article 2 of 13
July 22, 2022

COVID case continue climb; most DOE nuclear cleanup sites have high local rates

By Wayne Barber

Anyone visiting indoor facilities at Department of Energy nuclear cleanup sites in coming days should probably take along an approved face mask as COVID-19 community transmission rates are high in most locations.

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management requires masks be worn indoors when local community rates are high as measured by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data. Most cleanup sites fell into this category as of Thursday, the most recent day for which CDC data were available at deadline.  

These included big properties like the Hanford Site in Washington state, Savannah River Site in South Carolina and the Oak Ridge Site in Tennessee.

Here is a state-by-state rundown of community rates, according to CDC:

  • California: Alameda County. (Livermore National Laboratory) is high, as was Ventura County (Santa Susana Field Laboratory).
  • District of Columbia: (DOE headquarters) was medium.
  • Idaho: Bonneville County, Idaho (Idaho National Laboratory) was medium.
  • Kentucky: Fayette County (Lexington project office) was high as was McCracken County (Paducah Site).
  • Nevada: Nye County (Nevada National Security Site) was high.
  • New Mexico: Eddy County (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant) was high, although Los Alamos County (Los Alamos National Laboratory) was medium.  
  • New York: Cattaraugus County (West Valley Demonstration Project) was low.
  • Ohio: Pike County (Portsmouth Site) was high as was Hamilton County (Cincinnati-based Consolidated Business Center).
  • South Carolina: Aiken County and Barnwell County (Savannah River Site) were both high.
  • Tennessee: Anderson County and Roane County were both high (Oak Ridge Site).
  • Utah: Grand County (Moab Tailings) was high. 
  • Washington: Benton County and Franklin County (Hanford Site) were both high.

The number of active cases of COVID-19 for the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management hit 188 this week, up 19 from the prior week’s total of 169, a DOE spokesperson said Friday.

The number of onsite COVID-19 cases has been north of 100 for several weeks now as community infection rates continue to fluctuate in counties with DOE weapons complex facilities.

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