In recent days, local, state and national response to the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved. Bay Area counties — including Alameda — have extended their shelter-in-place orders to 11:59 p.m. May 3. The White House also has extended the federal social distancing guidelines to April 30.
To protect the health and safety of the Laboratory community, employees who are not working on site should continue their current posture, whether telecommuting or on authorized leave, until further notice. Employees should continue to follow current time-charging guidance. Any updates will be provided should the Laboratory receive additional direction from NNSA.
On Wednesday, work resumed on-site for a small number of mission-critical weapons activities. New and refined protocols and tools have been provided to ensure the health and safety of employees, as the on-site workforce increased. Next week, additional employees will be given on-site access as the Lab gradually and safely resumes high-priority projects. Employees involved in these efforts will be notified individually. No one should return to the Laboratory for any reason without specific authorization from their management. These efforts are part of what ultimately will be a safe, deliberate and orderly return to normal Laboratory operations, which will take place over a timescale dictated first and foremost by safety considerations.
Protocols that reduce COVID-19 spread have now been formalized into a Sitewide Work Control Document that outlines the coronavirus hazard in the workplace and the controls that protect employees. All on-site employees must adhere to these protocols.
To protect fellow employees, any worker who is ill now must stay home until they are symptom-free for 72 hours without the use of symptom-altering medications (e.g., fever reducers). This is a change from previous direction, informed by CDC’s recommendation and new evidence of how long virus transmission may occur following recovery from COVID-19 or any illness that has symptoms similar to COVID-19. If a worker becomes ill while on site, it is imperative they inform their supervisor and leave work immediately. If symptoms worsen, they should call their health care provider for guidance.
The COVID-19 employee hotline remains available at 2-6843 (COVID). Employees also can access a regularly updated list of Frequently Asked Questions and a compilation of helpful information. Employees with questions not answered by the FAQs and listed resources also may reach out covid19 [at] llnl.gov (this email address).
During this time, it is important that employees regularly check for updates via e-Line, AtHoc or the external Emergency Communication web page. All employees who have not done so are strongly encouraged to sign up for AtHoc. Click here for instructions. Once an AtHoc message is received, please follow the directions to respond when prompted.
Work-related injury care, ergonomics
The Health Services Department (HSD) continues to provide work-related injury care Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Any LLNS employee who is injured while telecommuting off site or working on site can be seen. While walk-ins are accepted, HSD prefers that employees call 2-7459 to schedule an appointment. Telecommuting employees may access care closer to home if they prefer. In the event of a work-related injury, contact your supervisor as soon as possible.
In addition, telecommuters who are experiencing discomfort or have concerns about the ergonomics of their home work area may schedule a virtual ergonomic evaluation. Type “ergonomics” into the search box to be directed to the request page.
During Minimum Safe Operations, the current after-hours protocol for an evacuation will be used after an earthquake and/or any other significant emergency requiring sitewide evacuation, regardless of time of day. After-hours assembly points (AP) are designated at each Fire Station (Site 200: Bldg. 323; Site 300: Bldg. 890). Report to the site’s after-hours AP if evacuation is required and follow the simple instructions in the box. The National Ignition Facility will follow its current after-hours procedure.
As a reminder, during earthquakes, regardless of magnitude, employees should drop, cover and hold on while the earthquake is occurring. Once ground motion stops, evacuate buildings immediately if there are any safety concerns. If you feel safe indoors following a minor earthquake, you may remain indoors unless a sitewide announcement provides new guidance.
Note: The links in the above communication are internal LLNL links and may not work in all situations.
seaver1 [at] llnl.gov