Covid-19: Newport News Shipbuilding considers extra measures to counter new virus spike

by Michael Fabey

The Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division is eyeing stronger mitigation efforts in its Virginia shipyard in the wake of a recent spike of Covid-19 cases, NNS President Jennifer Boykin has announced.

Nearly two-thirds of the total NNS cases thus far have been confirmed over the past two weeks, according to Boykin.

“Today’s Covid-19 update confirms five new cases for June 15,” she said in an online update on 16 June. “Four of those are on a ship located at Outfitting Berth 1 (OB1).”

The Pentagon has asked the services and contractors not to name ships with virus outbreaks. However, aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) has been docked at Berth 1 for its Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH).

Aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) is undergoing its Refueling Complex Overhaul at Newport News Shipbuilding, which is trying to counter a spike in Covid-19 cases. (US Navy)

Aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) is undergoing its Refueling Complex Overhaul at Newport News Shipbuilding, which is trying to counter a spike in Covid-19 cases. (US Navy)

George Washington is progressing through its final outfitting and test phase and, as of early May, was 74% complete for the work, HII CEO Michael Petters told investment analysts during a 7 May quarterly earnings call.

Boykin said in her update, “We have had 31 total cases on this ship and the surrounding buildings that support the ship. Recently, we’ve seen the numbers increase with 23 of the 31 cases being confirmed in the past two weeks. This number includes both employees and non-NNS employed persons.”

Boykin reminded employees of their “personal responsibility for the primary preventive actions: washing our hands or using hand sanitiser often; minimising and cleaning common touch points like coffee pots, doorknobs and file drawers; and wearing our masks properly”.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/covid-19-newport-news-shipbuilding-considers-extra-measures-to-counter-new-virus-spike

The Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division is eyeing stronger ...

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