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Norfolk Naval Shipyard makes improvements to enhanced screening procedures

By Michael Brayshaw, NNSY Lead Public Affairs Specialist | May 1, 2020


No printer?  No problem!

Instead of needing to print and retain self-screening forms to access Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY), a website has just been implemented for employees to perform their daily self-assessments.   Now employees only have to complete online screening at home, show the green checkmark on their smartphones and have their temperature taken to enter the shipyard.  The self-screening website is located at https://go.usa.gov/xvQSj

NNSY began enhanced screening procedures April 22 for entering the installation, with  personnel taking temperatures and asking questions to ensure employees are not exhibiting any symptoms or at increased risk for having COVID-19.  NNSY is the first installation in the region and first of the four public shipyards to conduct temperature checks at its gates. 

Now in its second full week, refinements continue to be made to the enhanced screening process, both to improve the entry process for employees and to assist supervisors in the event personnel are denied access.  In addition to NNSY implementing the self-screening website created by its Nuclear Corporate Training Initiatives Division (Code 2360), the Duty Office has been sending out information via AtHoc, providing employees real-time updates on their phones for traffic status at all gates, helping them adjust their plans for entry accordingly.

Effective May 1, shipyard supervisors are able to call the Turn Around Hotline if they have questions when one of their employees is denied access to NNSY due to a screening problem.  Supervisors have also been provided questionnaires to assist engaging with these employees and determining the next steps to take. 

NNSY Deputy Shipyard Commander, Captain Dan Rossler, has led the innovative effort of implementing enhancing screening to protect workforce safety and health.  Along with the effort being highlighted by local media outlets, NNSY is now fielding queries from other government agencies aiming to implement similar measures. 

Reflecting on how the screening evolved from spot checks around the shipyard beginning April 7 to screening at the gates two weeks later, Rossler said, “Because we are our own largest tenant, it made sense for us to combine efforts and screen the whole shipyard vice trying to do multiple buildings or brows over an entire day with people working all three shifts. We started the process as a Random Health Measure and set up at various locations across the shipyard at various times and days and spot checked people. When we had enough thermometers, we moved to the brows of the operational units, and now with over 30 thermometers we shifted outward and went to the fence line. As a long term effort, this was easier with several surge gates to get people on in the morning for a three hour period, two gates open during the day, and one overnight.”

            Approximately 40 personnel, a mix of shipyard Sailors and civilians, have been trained to conduct employee screening, to include thermometer use and actions for denial of access. 

            “As we continue minimizing the spread of COVID-19 and maximizing the mission of providing superior quality and reliable delivery back to the Fleet, I want to give my personal appreciation for everyone’s efforts throughout the last six plus weeks,” said Shipyard Commander Captain Kai Torkelson.  “We continue to adjust as a workforce in this dynamically changing situation, and I’m very proud to be part of the team completing our jobs as a mission critical workforce for the Navy.”