Both Plant Vogtle workers test negative for COVID-19, more test results pending

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UPDATE (7:13 P.M., 03/17/2020) – Two workers at Plant Vogtle tested negative for COVID-19.

Plant Vogtle personnel are still awaiting results for six other workers tested for coronavirus.

UPDATE (5:34 p.m., 03/15/2020) – The Coronavirus testing results for the second Plant Vogtle team member for whom biological samples were taken, Worker 2, as WJBF is calling that person, have come back as negative.

Officials with Georgia Power tell us the results for the first team member, Worker 1, are still pending and awaiting a “status update.”

Worker 2 was tested Saturday, March 14, meaning the results were available within 24 hours.

Plant Vogtle initially informed workers at Units 3 and 4 on Thursday, March 12, that one of their colleagues was being tested for possible Coronavirus transmission.

On Saturday, March 14, the testing of the second worker was announced. Both workers were located at Vogtle Units 3 and 4, which are currently non-operational.

As to why the results for Worker 1 are taking so long, Georgia Power officials were not able to comment at this time, but continue to reassure the community that its proactive steps are designed to both prevent the spread of the virus and protect the safety and well-being of the site workforce.

Worker 1, whose testing status is awaiting an update, is described as a non-manual worker in an office environment. Worker 2, who tested negative, is described by officials solely in terms of being a worker at the Units 3 and 4 construction site.

The Georgia Department of Health, which updates its map of confirmed Coronavirus cases in the state at noon each day, has not listed any confirmed cases in the CSRA. As of Sunday, March 15, the closest cases in the state to WJBF’s viewing area are located in Clarke County.

Meanwhile, awaiting the results of Worker 1’s testing, Georgia Power has set up temporary facilities at the plant to support the workforce in social distancing and aiding its new hygiene initiatives. Officials reiterate that these new buildings at the site are not for emergency housing or quarantine purposes.

At least one of the buildings is an expanded on-site medical clinic to additional medical resources as the plant is encouraging its workforce to more closely monitor their health and report concerns.

They are also adding portable bathrooms and washing stations and modifying use of the break rooms by adjusting break schedules and setting up additional space with overflow tents.

Protocols for large group meetings and gatherings are also being altered. Instead, communications in the field are being doing done as much as possible in smaller groups, with an increased reliance on communicating via writing/texting/emailing and teleconferencing.

While representatives with Plant Vogtle admit that it is challenging to present information to the public in such a fluid situation, they tell WJBF that they see it as their job to provide the best information as accurately as timely as possible and are working to do so.

Burke County, Ga. (WJBF) – Representatives with Georgia Power have confirmed they were informed today that a second employee at Plant Vogtle who works at the Units 3 and 4 construction site, units that are not yet in service, is being tested for the possibility of having contracted 2019 novel Coronavirus.

This comes on the heels of an announcement yesterday, Friday, March 14, that a “non-manual worker” who “works primarily in an office environment” was being tested.

That individual, whom we will refer to as Worker 1 for clarity purposes, as sex, home county, or other defining features have not yet been released, according to representatives with Georgia Power, has had a positive or negative result confirmed in their testing, as of yet.

At noon Saturday, the Georgia Department of Health updated its website as part of its daily status count and no counties in WJBF’s viewing area were listed as having a cased with a positive result for Coronavirus.

Additionally, yesterday, Georgia Power representatives said that there is no indication that any craft workers have been impacted. Today’s news from the plant only referred to Worker 2’s location at the plant as “the construction site.”

The plant continues to emphasize that its “proactive steps are designed to both prevent the spread of the virus and protect the safety and well-being of the site workforce” and that leadership has “taken immediate precautionary measures, which include notifying the employees who are located in close proximity to the worker and sending them home while we await test results.”

In the case of Worker 1, if the test is determined to be positive, then those non-manual workers located in close proximity to that person will be asked to stay at home for 14 days.

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