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The Savannah River Site is a 310-square-mile nuclear complex located south of Aiken.

Eighteen cumulative cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at the Savannah River Site south of Aiken.

The three most recent, additional cases were disclosed Friday afternoon by a U.S. Department of Energy spokesperson.

Of the 18 site workers who have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, the spokesperson said, 13 have recovered and returned to work.

The case count at the Savannah River Site – home to millions of gallons of nuclear waste as well as myriad national defense and research ventures – over the past several weeks has gradually increased. There were four confirmed cases at the site April 6. Eight total cases were reported April 16.

Roughly 10,000 people are employed at the Savannah River Site, a significant economic engine for both South Carolina and Georgia. But fewer than 2,500 are physically reporting for work as the site maintains an essential mission-critical posture amid the novel coronavirus crisis.

More than 9,600 cases of COVID-19 had been recorded in South Carolina as of Friday afternoon. State health officials have traced 166 cases to Aiken County.

COVID-19 symptoms include cough, fever, sore throat and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

Colin Demarest covers the Savannah River Site, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration and government in general. Follow him on Twitter: @demarest_colin