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Message from CAG: Year-End Review of COVID-19 Impacts and NNS’ Response

Published December 15, 2020

Dear Shipbuilders,
The fatigue we feel as a result of COVID-19 is real, and the approaching holidays place greater pressure on our need to return to a sense of normalcy and reconnect with loved ones. But how we celebrate over the holidays will have serious health consequences for ourselves, our loved ones and our healthcare community.

Like Virginia, Newport News Shipbuilding is experiencing a significant spike in positive COVID-19 cases. More shipbuilders have needed testing, especially since Thanksgiving. On December 11, we surpassed 1,000 total positive COVID-19 cases of NNS-only employees.

A continued rise in cases could push our state into another lockdown, and while news of an approved vaccine is promising, access will not be immediate. As you make plans for shutdown, we urge you to put safety first. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided guidance for gatherings to help minimize the spread of COVID-19:

  • Host a small gathering with only people who live in your household.
  • Make your gathering virtual or outdoors. Limit guests to 10, per the state requirement.
  • If celebrating indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible.
  • Cancel your gathering if you or someone who lives with you is sick or has been near someone who thinks they have or has COVID-19.
  • Shop online and limit travel to places that enforce basic protections: hand sanitizer, mask-wearing and social distancing.

Shipbuilder safety was our goal this year to protect each other and accomplish our mission-essential work.
Please take a moment to review this snapshot of COVID-19’s impact and our response, none of which would have happened without shipbuilders’ ideas and feedback! Equally important is our mental health, so we’ve also included information about our HERO program and virtual learning resources available in the community.

Enjoy a safe and happy holiday, and please continue to do your part to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Together, we will kick off 2021 strong.

Thank you,
The NNS COVID-19 Crisis Action Group