A raft of new coronavirus cases among the Savannah River Site's workforce was confirmed this week, pushing the cumulative tally at the south-of-Aiken nuclear reserve well past 200.
A total 230 instances of COVID-19, the disease the highly contagious virus causes, had been logged in the thousands-strong workforce as of Friday morning, an additional 47 cases as compared to last week.
A majority of the 230 people who contracted the virus have since recovered and have been cleared to return to work, a U.S. Department of Energy spokesperson said.
As South Carolina and Georgia – neighbors that greatly contribute to and benefit from the Savannah River Site – try to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the overall caseload at the federal complex is ticking upward.
Increases week to week have been relatively uniform: On July 24, a total 183 cases had been reported at the Savannah River Site. The week prior, 131. And the week before that, 87. The first instance of COVID-19 at SRS was recorded in late March.
One Savannah River Nuclear Solutions employee has died because of the virus, according to a memo distributed weeks ago.
Masks were made mandatory at a majority of site operations June 29.
More than 88,500 coronavirus cases have been logged in South Carolina to date, including at least 1,400 in Aiken County. The numbers are even more dire in Georgia: More than 182,000 cases have been confirmed there, with at least 3,330 traced to Richmond County, which abuts the site's namesake, the snaking Savannah River.