Newport News Shipbuilding addresses employee concerns and provides coronavirus updates

Newport News

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — President Jennifer Boykin of Newport News Shipbuilding met recently with leadership members to answer a few employee questions and discuss the shipyard’s social distancing plans.

On Thursday, Boykin met with the environmental director, health and safety director, and medical director to speak on topics such as shutdown, high-risk patients, and work options.

This meeting comes a day after the shipyard announced its third positive coronavirus case.

While the shipyard is still working to reduce the possibility of exposure and spreading the virus, leadership has distributed more than 11,000 laptops to ensure employees can work from home provided their job supports it.

Additionally, work shifts have been adjusted to minimize overlapping time. For those that have to work at the facility, conference rooms and meeting areas have been opened up to allow for productivity while following social distancing and CDC guidelines.

For those working onboard ships or who have a job that requires close quarters, job positions are being closely evaluated to determine if they are necessary and measures are being put in place to prevent close contact in these types of spaces.

Liberal leave has been implemented to accommodate those with family and personal situations. Workers considered to be at high risk of contracting the virus – above the age of 65 and immunocompromised – have been given options including working from home and schedule adjustments.

While there is no plan to shut the facility down, additional daily preventative measures have been put in place.

This includes cleaning and sanitizing the ships and facility buildings in-depth, multiple times a day while focusing on common areas, spraying handrails, and wiping down timeclocks.

The shipyard leadership and Crisis Management Team are working diligently to plan for every scenario possible that will keep employees safe, while allowing workflow and productivity.

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