Newport News Shipbuilding COVID-19 updates: 2,989 confirmed cases, with 2,262 cleared to return to work

Coronavirus
Newport News Shipyard shipbuilding generic_146028

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) is now reporting 2,989 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 involving shipyard workers as of March 5.

Additionally, shipyard President Jennifer Boykin said 2,262 individuals have been medically cleared to return to work.

New cases are posted by noon daily, including on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Here’s a breakdown of the cases reported at NNS:

  • South Yard 521 Reported Cases
  • Mid-Yard 820 Reported Cases
  • North Yard 1,147 Reported Cases
  • Off-Yard 501 Reported Cases

On July 27, the shipyard changed its reporting structure for Off-Yard to include employees working remotely and those on a leave of absence from the company. Employees who have worked remotely or have been on a leave of absence for 14 consecutive days prior to their COVID-19 diagnosis will be categorized in the chart above as working “Off-Yard.”

Thursday, March 4

  • Employee, 1st Shift, Ship at Outfitting Berth 1 (Flight Deck), North Yard; last time at NNS: March 2, 2021
  • Employee, 2nd Shift, Final Assembly Platen, North Yard; last time at NNS: March 1, 2021
  • Employee, 3rd Shift, Bldg. 206, Mid-Yard; last time at NNS: March 2, 2021
  • Employee, 1st Shift, Ship at Pier 3 (Space: 4-210-0-A), South Yard; last time at NNS: Feb. 26, 2021
  • Employee, 1st Shift, Off-Yard (Working Remotely); last time at NNS: Oct. 29, 2020
  • Employee, 1st Shift, Bldg. 902-1, Off-Yard Office (2700 Huntington Ave.); last time at NNS: Feb. 19, 2021
  • Employee, 1st Shift, Bldg. 1796, North Yard; last time at NNS: March 1, 2021
  • Employee, 1st Shift, Bldg. 902-1, Off-Yard Office (2700 Huntington Ave.); last time at NNS: March 3, 2021
  • Employee, 1st Shift, Bldg. 4911-3/Ship at Outfitting Berth 1, North Yard; last time at NNS: March 3, 2021
  • Employee, 1st Shift, Off-Yard (Working Remotely); last time at NNS: Nov. 13, 2020
  • Employee, 1st Shift, Bldg. 4677-6/MOF, Mid-Yard; last time at NNS: March 2, 2021
  • Non-NNS employed person, 2nd Shift, Ship at Outfitting Berth 1 (Space: 2-183-1-Q), North Yard; last time at NNS: Feb. 28, 2021
  • Non-NNS employed person, 3rd Shift, Ship at Outfitting Berth 1 (Space: 6-74-0-M), North Yard; last time at NNS: Feb. 28, 2021
  • Non-NNS employed person, 1st Shift, Ship at Outfitting Berth 1 (Space: 03-108-0-Q), North Yard; last time at NNS: Feb. 24, 2021
  • Non-NNS employed person, 2nd Shift, Ship at Outfitting Berth 1 (Space: 2-173-2-Q), North Yard; last time at NNS: Feb. 25, 2021
  • Non-NNS employed person, 1st Shift, Ship at Outfitting Berth 1 (Space: 3-165-0-L), North Yard; last time at NNS: Feb. 22, 2021

The total number of cases at NNS includes all confirmed COVID-19 cases at NNS since the pandemic began in March 2020. This number is representative of NNS employees as well as non-NNS employed persons. Medically cleared to return to work means an individual has medically recovered and is cleared to be back at work or to work from home. Shipyard officials say this figure only includes NNS employees due to privacy laws.

While the shipyard is continuing to stay open because its work is considered “mission essential,” it did change some policies to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In April, the shipyard updated its liberal leave fact sheet and changed its policy on dock time. They are now allowing it for salaried employees.

NNS established a COVID-19 hotline. On Jan. 12, 2021, Shipyard President Jennifer Boykin said they were adding representatives to handle the higher volume of calls and improve the response time. She said the hotline will soon have a virtual hold feature; when hold times reach a pre-determined threshold, the system will give the caller to option to have the system save their spot in line and call them back as opposed to sitting on hold.

She also addressed inquiries about the COVID-19 vaccine. “Many shipbuilders have asked if NNS will receive a COVID-19 vaccine due to our mission-essential status. We are actively exploring this possibility, and as more information becomes available, we will share details,” Boykins said.


Saturday, April 4 Update

NNS changed its reporting structure in accordance to the Department of Defense guidance regarding naval personnel and ships.

  • Government civilians, Navy personnel and contractors will now be categorized a “non-NNS employed person.”
  • Cases at other sites where NNS employees work will be tracked by that local site and communicated through the local NNS leadership team.

Tuesday, April 28 Update

Beginning on May 1, NNS will go from three shifts to two to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The two shifts will be equally distributed and shipyard workers will work for 8 hours, Boykin said.

The two-shift system will allow cleaning personnel 3.5 hours to disinfect work spaces, including high-touch areas.

Shipyard workers are also leaving the area at staggered times at the end of their shifts to promote social distancing at the NNS.

Visit the links below for updated information:

Huntington Ingalls updates and extends ‘liberal leave’ policy for Newport News Shipbuilding and other divisions.

Liberal Leave Fact Sheet: Click HERE

Pay and Benefits Guidance (to include dock time): Click HERE

Follow-up on recent NNS coverage and daily Virginia coronavirus updates.

The shipyard provides updates on new cases every day before noon, including Saturdays and Sundays. 

“Each new entry will include as much information as possible according to employee confidentiality laws and will indicate when it was posted or updated. Confidentiality laws prohibit us from disclosing the identities of any individuals,” according to NNS officials. “Any individual who has tested positive will be quarantined, and anyone believed to be at risk for exposure will be contacted and asked to self-quarantine.”


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