Morning Briefing - April 30, 2020
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April 30, 2020

Eleventh COVID-19 Case Confirmed at Savannah River Site

By ExchangeMonitor

The Energy Department’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina on Tuesday confirmed its 11th cases of COVID-19.

A spokesperson for the DOE office at Savannah River declined to provide any additional details on the individual.

To date, nine of the 11 people who have tested positive at the DOE complex near the South Carolina-Georgia border have recovered and returned to work.

The 310-square-mile Savannah River Site includes extensive operations for both DOE’s Office of Environmental Management and semiautonomous National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Roughly 2,500 of the site’s normal 11,000-member workforce are still on-site, with others either teleworking or on paid leave.

Nuclear cleanup has been limited to essential mission critical activities since April 3. The work is largely limited to emergency crews and inspections to ensure environmental protection and public safety. However, restart activities and planning are underway for a phased approach to returning all facilities back to normal operations, according to the SRS website. Neither Savannah River or Office of Environmental Management headquarters have released any public timetable for staffing back up.

An informal count across the DOE Environmental Management sites suggests there are 18 confirmed cases of infection by novel coronavirus 2019, including two at the Hanford Site in Washington state, two at the Paducah Site in Kentucky, one at the Portsmouth Site in Ohio, one at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, and one at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.

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