ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories’ New Mexico site has evacuated two buildings following one confirmed case of COVID-19 among its workforce. Sandia’s top priority is to keep its staff safe and healthy, and Sandia management is taking steps to protect workforce health. Two buildings where the individual worked and visited are closed for thorough cleaning and disinfection. Members of the workforce have been instructed to avoid these areas until further notice.
Sandia in coordination with state and federal health officials is working with the person to retrace their steps to identify locations they have visited. Labs management has identified members of the workforce who have had close, personal contact with the infected person and they are self-quarantined for 14 days to monitor for signs of illness.
Sandia learned the person was confirmed positive for COVID-19 late Thursday and evacuated and closed two buildings, which are being thoroughly cleaned before being reopened. The worker also used public transportation, and Sandia is working with the city to clarify the bus routes and other details.
Sandia has long had a plan in place to coordinate actions related to a potential staff illness. Since Sunday, March 15, Sandia has requested all employees who can work from home to do so. As of Monday, March 23, about 8,600 employees were working from home. To work from home, an employee’s job needs to be suitable for offsite work. Some jobs require access to labs, computers and resources only available at the labs.
Sandia has a cross-organizational team meeting daily to discuss and monitor COVID-19. The team’s goal is to help ensure Sandia has an effective preparedness and management system in place.
Sandia is following Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and will continue to closely monitor the situation.
Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory operated by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Sandia Labs has major research and development responsibilities in nuclear deterrence, global security, defense, energy technologies and economic competitiveness, with main facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Livermore, California.