One works at the company’s Rhode Island shipyard.
The president of General Dynamics Electric Boat has tested positive for the coronavirus, he said in a Saturday letter to employees that was obtained by The Providence Journal.
Company spokeswoman Elizabeth Power said in an email to The Journal that seven Electric Boat employees in addition to company president Kevin Graney have tested positive. One of them works in Rhode Island, one in South Carolina and five in Connecticut.
Power said the company remains open because President Donald Trump has designated it part of the nation’s critical infrastructure that can’t close.
In an email to The Journal that Electric Boat is “following our normal business continuity process.” She said, “All notification and disinfection protocols remain aligned with public heath guidance.”
On Wednesday, the submarine builder was criticized by Gov. Gina M. Raimondo for work conditions, especially at the company’s Rhode Island shipyard at Quonset Point.
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Answering a question during her daily briefing about the company, Raimondo said she had learned of employees who are being required to work in closer contact than the six-foot rule of social distancing and in groups larger than five, which her office has mandated.
In strong language, she said she would be calling the shipbuilder’s executives to have them stop the practices.
“It’s not okay,” Raimondo said. “You should not have to work in those conditions.”
Electric Boat responded that it had reduced the density of workers and increased cleaning.
“While we have been talking about symptoms like fever, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, and body aches, my own experience with symptoms was pretty subtle,“ company president Graney wrote Saturday. ”Overnight on Wednesday into Thursday this week, I developed what felt like a low grade fever. Under normal circumstances, I would’ve been tempted to take a few Tylenol and report to work. Instead, I heeded what [health officials] have been telling us and I stayed home.“
He said he temperature has not gotten above 100 degrees and his nasal congestion has remained mild.
He said he will not be at the company’s facilities until medically cleared and that employees who were near him are monitoring their health. His office and nearby areas are being cleaned this weekend, he said.
“Please stay focused on your own personal health,” he wrote. “Each of us knows when we’re not quite feeling right. In my case, the indicators were subtle, but enough to cause me to pay attention. Stay vigilant about your health and the health of those around you. Practice social distancing, wash your hands often stay hydrated and get rest when you can. Most importantly, stay home if you are sick.”
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