NASA leadership announced on Mar. 14 enactment of Stage 2 of the agency’s Response Framework for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
In Stage 2, telework is strongly encouraged for employees who can work remotely. Employees who are cleared may take home their laptop computer, power cord, NASA badge, and any other equipment needed to work effectively from an alternate location, as well as essential personal items they may need. The workforce is asked to stay in regular contact with supervisors. Travel that is not mission-essential, as defined in the response framework, will be limited agencywide.
Ames Research Center in California was elevated to Stage 3 of NASA’s Response Framework after an onsite case of COVID-19 was confirmed on March 8. An employee at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama has recently tested positive for COVID-19. As with Ames, Marshall has been elevated to Stage 3 and is in mandatory telework status, with restricted access to the center until further notice.
“While we do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any other NASA center as of today, March 14, out of an abundance of caution, all other NASA centers are transitioning to Stage 2 of our response framework,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “Center directors have been in contact with their employees about this status change and steps moving forward.”
Bridenstine reinforced past guidance to mission-essential employees to not come to work if they feel sick. “Everyone should take extra precautions to protect themselves and others. I’ve asked employees to please continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the agency’s chief health and medical officer, and if they have questions, don’t hesitate to talk with their supervisor.”
“The vigilance our workforce has displayed in our response to coronavirus is remarkable and has placed our agency in a position of strength as we confront this national emergency. I’m grateful for all the members of the NASA community and everything they’re doing to care for the health of our workforce and keeping the mission going. We will get through this together and NASA will continue to accomplish amazing things for our country and all of humanity.”