Ingalls Shipbuilding employee tests positive for coronavirus

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Aerial view of HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division in Pascagoula, Mississippi, taken in May 2019. (Photo by Derek Fountain/HII)

An employee at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding has tested positive for the coronavirus.

In a message to Ingalls employees dated yesterday, Brian Cuccias, Ingalls Shipbuilding president, said that the shipbuilder is now in quarantine and that the company is in the process of ascertaining exactly where the employee worked and will be in contact with those who may have worked in close proximity to the person.

Following is the text of the message:

To my fellow Ingalls Shipbuilders:

We have now confirmed that a fellow Ingalls shipbuilder working in the Pascagoula facility has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The employee is now subject to quarantine/isolation for at least 14 days and will not return to work until medical information confirms the employee does not present a risk to the workforce. In the past two weeks, the employee was assigned to LPD 29, first shift. We are in the process of ascertaining exactly where the employee worked and will be in contact with those who may have worked in close proximity to this person.

Due to legal requirements, we are prohibited from disclosing the name of this employee. However, employees who believe they may have worked in the immediate vicinity of this employee should notify their supervisor immediately, then go to one of the two screening centers at the shipyard: across the road from the Ingalls Fire Department, or between the ARA cafeteria and Admin Building #2.

If you are not at work and you feel this impacts you, or if you have symptoms which include fever, shortness of breath or a persistent coughing, you should isolate yourself, take your temperature and call your primary healthcare provider. Do not return to work unless you have been cleared to return by Ingalls Medical Department. Call (228) 935-3841.

The company is applying our long-standing policies and plans for infectious disease response, including disinfecting and sanitizing affected work areas, and the crisis management team is meeting multiple times daily.

In our efforts to continue to protect the health and safety of our employees, it remains as important as ever for each of us to continue to remain aware of and follow the CDC’s guidance, which includes reduction of social interaction, social distancing and frequent hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer. In this regard, all CDC, internal and other appropriate protocols are being implemented to reduce the risk of further transmission.

Ingalls has established a hub of resources on its website at https://ingalls.huntingtoningalls.com/Coronavirus/. In an additional effort to inform our employees, we have assembled a Coronavirus Resource Guide, which addresses frequently asked questions and general information. The guide is available in English and Spanish.

While this news is concerning, Ingalls urges all employees to remain calm and continue to limit interactions and practice social distancing to the greatest extent possible. This practice is the best defense against transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

The health and safety of our employees is our primary focus right now.

Brian Cuccias
President
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