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.
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