ULA, SpaceX, Blue Origin React to COVID-19 Cases Among Employees

COVID-19. Photo: CDC

United Launch Alliance (ULA) put out a statement on April 6 that an employee in a Denver facility tested positive for COVID-19 that same day. ULA President and CEO Tory Bruno said that the launcher was working with the local health department and following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols and had closed the floor of the building that has been exposed to the virus, and is following “stringent cleaning and disinfection protocols.” 

“Our early and aggressive COVID mitigations have limited the number of personnel exposed,” Bruno said. “We are executing our prepared and rehearsed response plan and anticipate no impacts to our manifest. ULA continues to proactively take steps to protect our people, slow the spread of the virus, and maintain national security.” 

Separately, Michael Sheetz of CNBC reported Monday that SpaceX has had six employees test positive as of Monday. According to CNBC, an internal SpaceX memo said that one of the employees had self-isolated. SpaceX did not comment to CNBC. 

Blue Origin, headquartered in Washington state, has had cases as well. Alan Boyle of GeekWire.com reported this week that three employees at Blue Origin have tested positive and are now in quarantine. Blue Origin told GeekWire that employees who had been in close contact with those individuals have been instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days. One individual worked at the factory in Kent, Washington, and the other two cases were a married couple, one working at the Kent factory, and the other at the O’Neill headquarters building.

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