NASA Marshall Mandates Telework after Employee Tests COVID-19 Positive

NASA Marshall Mandates Telework after Employee Tests COVID-19 Positive

To identify any other people "who may have had significant contact with that employee," Marshall is also performing "contact tracing," said Singer

FREMONT, CA: The Marshall Space Flight Center of NASA in Alabama announced that it is introducing a mandatory telework policy after an employee was diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19). Jody Singer, director of Marshall, said in a statement that the center received confirmation late March 13 that an employee had tested positive for COVID-19. Following it, she said, the center was introducing "mandatory telework effective immediately and until further notice."

Except for the mission-essential personnel, no one will be allowed at the center. To identify any other people "who may have had significant contact with that employee," Marshall is also performing "contact tracing," said Singer. The case at Marshall is in "Stage 3" as per a NASA framework for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of the "Stage 3" declaration, NASA also limits center resources, such as food service and clinics, to the minimum needed to support mission-essential personnel, besides making telework mandatory. Employees are advised to hold virtual meetings, and only travel related to mission-essential is permitted.

Apart from the Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA's Ames Research Center in California also made telework mandatory late March 8 after one of its employees tested positive for COVID-19. The rest of the center is now at Stage 2 in that framework, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said. Telework is "strongly encouraged" and travel only for mission-essential is allowed.

"While we do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any other NASA center as of today, March 14, out of an abundance of caution, all other NASA centers are transitioning to Stage 2 of our response framework," Bridenstine said. "Center directors have been in contact with their employees about this status change and steps moving forward."

"As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we'll continue to closely monitor and coordinate with federal, state, and community officials to take any further appropriate steps to help safeguard the NASA family," he said, urging employees that are required to go to work at centers not to do so if they feel sick, and for all to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

See also: Top Aviation and Aerospace Companies

Weekly Brief