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Dozens of SRS employees in isolation over coronavirus concerns

This email was sent to Savannah River Site employees on Monday, March 23, 2020.
This email was sent to Savannah River Site employees on Monday, March 23, 2020.(WRDW)
Published: Mar. 23, 2020 at 1:38 PM EDT
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Friday, March 27, 2020

AIKEN, SC (WRDW/WAGT) -- The Savannah River Site near Aiken continues to have one confirmed case of coronavirus among its employees, but dozens more are in isolation with symptoms, according to a spokeswoman.

Amy R. Boyette of the U.S. Department of Energy said that as of earlier this week, 56 employees were symptomatic and referred to their personal physicians. Some of the employees exhibiting symptoms went to their physicians but their situation was not determined to warrant a COVID-19 test.

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Managers are tracking 130 other employees, including 56 who have exhibited symptoms and self-quarantined and 74 who are asymptomatic but who could have been exposed to an individual either off or on site, according to Boyette. In an abundance of caution, those with potential exposure have been sent home for isolation, she said.

In all cases, a physician’s release is required prior to returning to work at the Department of Energy industrial complex that once refined materials for nuclear weapons.

On Monday, managers had announced in an email to employees that there had been a positive test result among the staff.

The industrial complex planned to transition over the next few days to focus on activities that are least mission-critical, the email said. The emphasis was on remote work for employees who can do so.

The email said the action was being taken “out of an abundance of caution.”

“During this period, activities that support our missions will be limited to those necessary to ensure the safety of the public, our workers, the environment, and critical national security missions,” the email stated.

The email to employees pledged that they would continue to receive updates.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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