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INL sends nonessential employees home

Coronavirus

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INL | File photo

IDAHO FALLS — With the recent “stay-home” order from the governor, the Idaho National Laboratory is transitioning to “minimum-safe plus” status.

Out of the around 5,000 people who work at Idaho National Lab, only 1,000 will continue to report INL facilities. The other 3,900 employees will have to work from home as the lab works to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“We have moved to a minimum-safe plus status to do all we can to protect our staff and our community while still serving the nation’s needs,” INL Director Mark Peters said in a news release.

INL spokeswoman Sarah Neumann said the employees who will continue to go to the lab are essential to keeping the lab running.

“There are several people that have to be there for critical operations,” she said.

This also includes the security staff and fire department.

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“INL has been anticipating and making contingency plans for this rapidly evolving situation. We have worked closely with the Department of Energy and other government sponsors to redefine the work that’s truly essential given the changing circumstances,” Peters said in the news release.

Buses will continue to operate regularly to transport essential employees. Nonessential employees will not be allowed into INL facilities and are being asked to telecommute as much as possible.

Cafeterias at the lab will remain open for grab-and-go meals only.

No cases of COVID-19 have been discovered among INL employees, according to the news release.

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