United States
March 31, 2020

First Austal USA team member tests presumptive positive for COVID-19

Mobile, Ala. – A Mobile-based Austal USA team member tested presumptive positive for COVID-19, the company learned Mar. 30. This test marks the first positive case for an Austal USA employee.

The employee, working second shift in the Module Manufacturing Facility Phase 2, has been offsite since Mar. 18 reportedly due to an unrelated matter. Fortunately, the employee is reportedly recovering at home in good condition.  As per protocol, the Austal Medical Team screened the co-workers that work in close proximity of the employee and none have any apparent symptoms. They have been quarantined out of an abundance of caution.  The employee’s work area and equipment was sanitized and deep cleaned per Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines.

Austal activated its formal pandemic plan in early February and is following the OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, and additional guidance from the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).  This includes implementing enhanced cleaning throughout the facility, frequent communications of the CDC guidelines for personal hygiene and social distancing, adding wash basins and hand sanitizer throughout the facility, activating an enhanced leave policy for those directly affected by the pandemic and school closures, offering employees to work an alternative shift or from home wherever possible, and using enhanced personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary.  This also continues to include restrictions on travel, restrictions on visitors and screening all suppliers that need to be on-site before entering the facility.

Austal also implemented an enhanced communication plan communicating important information about the pandemic, CDC guidance, and other important information directly with our employees.

Any employee who is sick is encouraged to stay home, and those that feel ill during work are encouraged to be screened at one of our on-site First Aid stations by the Austal medical team.

“As a major defense contractor, the work we do is vital to our national security and our employees take that responsibility very seriously,” said Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle. “That said, the health and well-being of our team is our number one priority, so we will continue to implement CDC guidelines in our workplace for our employees.

“I am so very proud of how our team and suppliers have responded to this unprecedented challenge. I am equally impressed with the incredible work of our health care professionals and first responders during this crisis.  They are all true heroes.”


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