Over the past week, three individuals have accessed the Lab from Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Level 3 countries without completing the 14-day self-isolation. Although each of these individuals was asymptomatic, they were sent off-site to complete the self-isolation period.
In these cases and for future cases, the Lab follows its process for individuals who do not adhere to the self-isolation policy. Please understand that if you are a supervisor or host, you are responsible for sharing this policy with any individual who plans to access the site.
In addition, some may have heard that a Lab employee who works remotely recently recovered from what the employee reported to be a severe respiratory infection. Rumors indicated that this individual may have had COVID-19 and that the employee was last on-site in mid-February. These rumors are incorrect.
Also, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is reporting that they have an employee with a presumptive but unconfirmed case of the COVID-19 virus. As a precautionary measure, LLNL is suspending all business travel and visitors to the site until March 13; 23 people who were in close business contact with the LLNL employee have been asked to self-isolate.
As a Lab community, we need to expect that these cases will continue to surface. We also need to expect that eventually, a Lab employee may test positive for COVID-19. We will continue to take precautionary measures by investigating these cases as they arise and will take risk-based mitigating actions based on the facts. We will also adjust our Lab policies as needed to protect our community and be responsive to local, state, and federal health mandates.
As a reminder, any employee showing signs of respiratory illness, including fever, should call their primary health care provider and stay home until they are symptom-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. People who identify as part of a high-risk group — including people 60 and older; those with underlying health conditions, including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes; and people who have weakened immune systems — should contact their health provider immediately if they have symptoms.
Remember, the best ways to keep yourself, your colleagues, and your family healthy are to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, avoid touching your face, and self isolate when you are ill.