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Contractor at nuclear regulatory office tests positive for coronavirus

Contractor at nuclear regulatory office tests positive for coronavirus

A contractor was in a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) office in Pennsylvania tested positive for the coronavirus, resulting in a brief closure of the office. 

David McIntyre, a spokesperson for the commission, confirmed to The Hill that a contractor tested positive for COVID-19 and that facility access was limited for a few days.

“Access to the facility was restricted for 2 business days to allow deep cleaning of the facility to occur,” McIntyre said in an email. 

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National Treasury Employees Union National President Tony Reardon told The Hill in a statement that the person had only been in the office for a short time and “had limited contact with others.”

Reardon added that those who had contact with the person were notified and that the office closed for four days, including two weekend days, for a deep cleaning and that he believes the person is “recovering well.”

The case and brief closure come amid a debate within the federal government as a whole about reopening safely amid the pandemic. 

For example, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employees recently raised concerns about continuing to the next phase of its reopening during an uptick in cases.

Reardon said that the NRC case “is a clear example of why maximum telework policies should be maintained at all federal agencies throughout the pandemic.”

“It is the best way to protect employees and maintain productivity,” he said, adding that most employees of the NRC regional office telework on most days, which “helped limit the risk to NRC employees.”