According tomedia reports, emails from Blue Origin show that three of the company’s employees working in Washington tested positive for the new coronavirus. It is reported that the two confirmed cases were announced at the weekend local time. A few days ago, Blue Origin management pressured employees at a meeting to push ahead with the test launch of the New Shepard rocket.
(From: Blue Origin)
“Unfortunately, two more Blue Origin employees tested positive for the new coronavirus over the weekend,” Mary Plunkett, senior director of corporate development for the company, wrote in an email. The company had just one employee on Friday who was diagnosed with the new coronavirus, and two newly confirmed cases were of a couple working at Blue Origin’s headquarters in Kent, Washington. An email sent to employees on Sunday showed that one of them was still working in the office on April 3, local time, and the other was last seen in the office on March 27.
The company said its human resources team would keep in touch with employees and that it had carried out a “thorough and deep clean-up” of where they had been visited. The company stresses to its employees that if you are sick you should stay at home.
Earlier, Blue Origin employees raised concerns about the test launch of the New Shepard Good Rocket. The rocket was designed to bring paying customers to the edge of space and return, while testing would take employees from Washington to rural Texas. Blue Origin management said it could affect employment if employees don’t want to travel because of the rocket test. Blue Origin chief executive Bob Smith responded in an email that the company would hire more staff during the outbreak, rather than lay off workers.