By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)–The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine:
“As we navigate this difficult time, the protection and care of the NASA family continues to be our top priority and the key consideration as we make decisions on how to move forward. NASA leadership is coordinating closely with the White House Coronavirus Task Force and interagency partners in our nation’s unified response to coronavirus (COVID-19), and regularly re-evaluating the conditions at each center.
“As you are aware, Ames Research Center in California was elevated to Stage 3 of NASA’s Response Framework after an onsite case of COVID-19 was confirmed on March 8. We recently received confirmation that an employee at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama has tested positive for COVID-19. As with Ames – in consultation with Marshall Center Director Jody Singer, NASA Chief Health and Medical Officer Dr. J.D. Polk, and in accordance to agency response plans – Marshall has been elevated to Stage 3 and is in mandatory telework status, with restricted access to the center until further notice.
“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. Center directors have been in contact with their employees about this status change and steps moving forward.
“In Stage 2, telework is strongly encouraged for employees who can work remotely. I’ve directed employees to take home their laptop computer, power cord, NASA badge, and any other equipment needed to work effectively from an alternate location, as well as essential personal items they may need. The workforce is asked to stay in regular contact with supervisors. Travel that is not mission-essential, as defined in the response framework, will be limited agencywide.
“More information on leave and telework is available on the NASA People website.
“As I’ve told the NASA community, if you are performing mission-essential work on center, do not go to work if you feel sick. Everyone should take extra precautions to protect themselves and others. I’ve asked employees to please continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the agency’s chief health and medical officer, and if they have questions, don’t hesitate to talk with their supervisor.
“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. The NASA People website is regularly updated with employee additional guidance.
“The vigilance our workforce has displayed in our response to coronavirus is remarkable and has placed our agency in a position of strength as we confront this national emergency. I’m grateful for all the members of the NASA community and everything they’re doing to care for the health of our workforce and keeping the mission going. We will get through this together and NASA will continue to accomplish amazing things for our country and all of humanity.”