NASA has been directly affected by COVID-19 coronavirus, with the US space agency having a staffer in Alabama testing positive for COVID-19.
This has forced NASA into a lockdown and pushing a mandatory work-from-home order, elevating the center to "Stage 3". This is NASA's internal label for a mandatory work-from-home order. The Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama is the NASA site affected, with all employees at the Alabama-based facility forced to work from home.
In a NASA press release, the US space agency explains that all staff will have "restricted access to the center until further notice". Stage 3 designation has NASA forcing its other facilities into a Stage 2 mandate, which means the US space agency "strongly encourages" employees to work from home, but it's not mandatory at this stage -- which is where Stage 3 comes in.
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement: "While we do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any other NASA center as of today, March 14, out of an abundance of caution, all other NASA centers are transitioning to Stage 2 of our response framework. Center directors have been in contact with their employees about this status change and steps moving forward".
He continued: "In Stage 2, telework is strongly encouraged for employees who can work remotely. I've directed employees to take home their laptop computer, power cord, NASA badge, and any other equipment needed to work effectively from an alternate location, as well as essential personal items they may need".
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