NNS to Begin COVID-19 Transition

Published April 13, 2021

Dear Shipbuilders,

Virginia is beginning to ease public health restrictions for social gatherings, entertainment venues and sporting events. Supplies of COVID-19 vaccines are increasing, and thousands of shipbuilders have been vaccinated at the NNS COVID-19 Vaccination Site.

NNS recently opened up vaccinations to more shipbuilders, including leased employees and subcontractors, as well as employees who tested positive for the virus 45 days ago. The previous limit was 90 days.

For the past year, we’ve operated our business in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance and other measures designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep shipbuilders safe. We know more about the virus now, and with vaccine availability on the rise we will begin phasing out our COVID-19 efforts this summer:

  • We will end all Quarantine Pay on June 1.
  • Vaccinations will be available at our NNS site (Old Apprentice School gym) through May 28.
  • The HII Family Health Center will continue to offer the vaccine to all employees, however, hourly employees will no longer be paid for time to get their shots after May 28.
  • Leadership teams will begin to assess employees’ current work from home arrangements to determine whether or not various job functions can continue remotely without impacting business operations. Additional information will be communicated in the coming weeks.

While quarantine pay will end June 1, the CDC has provided no indication it will change quarantine requirements for critical infrastructure companies any time soon. This could leave shipbuilders going through the testing and quarantine processes without the benefit of quarantine pay.

For these reasons, I strongly encourage every shipbuilder who can to get the COVID-19 vaccine now. This is a critical part of helping to protect our teammates and neighbors who, for medical reasons, cannot get this added protection. NNS has ample supplies of vaccine and available appointments at the vaccination site.

Transparency and flexibility have been key to our success throughout the pandemic, and a list of frequently asked questions is available to answer some of your questions. We will continue to update you as decisions are made and get your input as part of the process. As has been the case, timing around key decisions may change based on evolving CDC guidance, positive case rates and population vaccination rates.

While recent developments are encouraging, we still have a ways to go. I know we are ALL looking forward to living without masks, but we must continue to follow CDC guidance: keep wearing our masks, maintaining our social distance and washing our hands often, even if we’ve been fully vaccinated.

Your diligence has helped keep our workplace safe through a difficult time. Thank you for keeping NNS strong.

Jennifer Boykin
Newport News Shipbuilding