Thursday, September 21, 2023

Coronavirus: Jefferson Lab temporarily suspends operation

Jefferson Lab (WYDaily file/Courtesy of Jefferson Lab FB)
Jefferson Lab (WYDaily file/Courtesy of Jefferson Lab FB)

In an effort to minimize the risk to the Jefferson Lab workforce and in keeping with recommendations from national, state, and local authorities, the Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News is temporarily suspending operations.

Officials said shutdown procedures will begin Monday (March 23), bringing the lab to a safe and stable configuration by Friday.

About 80 percent of the labs 720-person workforce began working remotely on March 17.

“There is absolutely nothing more important than the health, safety, and well-being of our staff and our community,” said Jefferson Lab Director Stuart Henderson. “Given the growing number of positive cases throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, in our region, and in the immediate Newport News area, we believe this action is warranted and offers the safest path forward for the lab to help protect against the spread of this disease.”

Only a small number of staff will be on-site after March 27 to maintain critical systems and keep the site secure.

All other staff members will continue to work remotely from the safety of their homes, remain in daily contact with their supervisors, and be ready to return to work on-site as soon as conditions permit, officials said.

Jefferson Lab also has cancelled all travel and in-person events, including tours, until further notice. Scientific, technical and business meetings that can be held via video or tele- conferencing will continue as planned.

As of Monday, the state has 254 positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19): James City County has 34; York County, 5, Williamsburg, 5, and Newport News, 2, accoring to the Virginia Department of Health.

Virginia’s death toll stands at 6: one in Fairfax County and 5 in the Peninsula Health District.


John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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