- Coronavirus Affirmed Within an employee from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
- NASA is attempting to keep its various missions on the program, recently stating the Mars 2020 mission is still a go, at least for the moment.
The worker who tested positive for COVID-19 had not been to the center for at least 10 days before testing positive for the virus.
The coronavirus pandemic has influenced every potential industry along with the US space program is different. NASA has shuttered a range of its facilities, only allowing personnel that are mission-critical to access certain facilities and pushing on staff to work from home. Now, only a day after the agency put out a release detailing its plans for the immediate future, Florida Today is reporting that an employee in the Kennedy Space Center has tested positive for the virus.”
The employee was the last present in the facility over 10 days before testing positive for the virus and had been operating from home under NASA’s mandate. It’s unclear if the man was infected at the center through his recent times.
Speaking with Florida Today, NASA spokesperson Tracy Young explained that the agency is optimistic that the virus wasn’t spread among workers at Kennedy Space Center.
“This worker was last at the center over 10 days ago,” Young told the outlet. “According to the circumstances and elapsed time, because the employee was on-site, we believe it had been acquired after they had begun teleworking and there isn’t any additional risk at the middle of this individual.”
It’s not clear what the agency is currently basing that assumption. It’s been shown that COVID-19 can cause several or zero symptoms for as long as two weeks, making it difficult, if not impossible, to ascertain the exact window where there was a man infectious. The space center says that safety and the health of its workforce is a priority and it’s taking the issue seriously.
It was only yesterday that NASA released an updated prediction of its missions. As work on these missions pauses temporarily other endeavors, including work on the James Webb Space Telescope that is oft-delayed, will face additional delays.
Kennedy Space Center is one of the NASA facilities. The mandatory order applies to all NASA centers, so staff numbers at Kennedy should already be at a minimum. It’s uncertain if this newly-confirmed instance of COVID-19 will influence any of their work still being performed by”mission-critical” workers in the center.
As the agency has been great about timely updates in the aftermath of this pandemic on its own plans going ahead, we’ll expect updates from NASA.