As we navigate this difficult time, the protection and care of the NASA family continues to be our top priority and the key consideration as we make decisions on how to move forward. NASA leadership is coordinating closely with the White House Coronavirus Task Force and interagency partners in our nation’s unified response to coronavirus (COVID-19) and regularly re-evaluating the conditions at each center. Your careful observance of recommendations is key to protecting our team and ensuring we accomplish our mission.
As you are aware, 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. We recently received confirmation that an employee at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama has tested positive for COVID-19. As with Ames – in consultation with Marshall Center Director Jody Singer, NASA Chief Health and Medical Officer Dr. J.D. Polk, and in accordance to agency response plans – 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. Center directors have been in contact with their employees about this status change and steps moving forward.
In Stage 2, telework is strongly encouraged for employees who can work remotely. Take home your laptop computer, power cord, NASA badge, and any other equipment you need to work effectively from an alternate location, as well as essential personal items you may need. Stay in regular contact with your supervisor. Travel that is not mission-essential, as defined in the response framework, will be limited agencywide.
If you are performing mission-essential work on center, do not go to work if you feel sick. Everyone should take extra precautions to protect themselves and others. Please continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the agency’s chief health and medical officer, and if you have questions, don’t hesitate to talk with your supervisor.
As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we’ll continue to closely monitor and coordinate with federal, state, and community officials to take any further appropriate steps to help safeguard the NASA family. Please check the NASA People website regularly for additional guidance.
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. Thank you for all you are doing to care for the health of our workforce and keeping the mission going. We will get through this together and continue to accomplish amazing things for our country and all of humanity. Please take care of yourselves and your families.