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NEWS | July 9, 2020

Misting Disinfectant Utilized at Norfolk Naval Shipyard to Help in the Fight Against COVID-19

By Kristi Britt, Public Affairs Specialist

At the early stages of combating the spread of COVID-19 at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY), many individuals stepped up to provide innovative, safe solutions that would help ensure the safety of employees. One such group was the Facilities Support Branch (Code 985) that was enlisted to help address high traffic and touch areas in need of regular disinfecting.

“We have areas like drydock handrails, turnstiles, and breakrooms that are constantly in use,” said Facilities Support Engineer Caleb Steckmann. “At NNSY, the safety of our employees is our number one priority and we wanted to establish something that could directly help those who were continuing to serve our mission and utilizing these high traffic areas.”

In an emergent response to minimize any potential spread of COVID-19, Code 985 employees worked with a local contractor that specializes in environmental cleaning, to begin applying preventative misting and apply disinfectants to these high traffic areas. For four weeks, Code 985 worked diligently with contractor personnel, escorting, scheduling, and collecting pertinent data to work on providing the safest environment possible for NNSY employees. 

“The initial response team included those from the contracting company; as well as Code 985 employees-Facilities Support Engineer Joseph Marousas, Caleb Steckmann, and myself,” said TF-1 Program Manager Bobby Truitt. “We worked as a unit, making sure these areas were continuously addressed and handled so America’s Shipyard could keep moving forward while remaining as safe as possible. Because of our response and the data we collected, we were also able to provide what was needed for Naval Facilities (NAVFAC) to expand our current cleaning contracts to include the preventative disinfecting essential to combat COVID-19. It was a lot of hard work and effort put in to protect our shipyard team. We were just happy to do what we could to assist.”

“At NNSY, we exhibit our C.O.R.E. values–Care, Ownership, Respect, and Excellence–in everything we do here,” said Marousas. “We wanted to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 any way we could. We wanted to help minimize the spread while maximizing the mission. NNSY still needed to continue to serve our Fleet and our country, hence we wanted to do as much as we could to take care of our people. This ensured that America’s Shipyard was as safe as possible for those working each and every day for the U.S. Navy.”