Jody Singer, director of Marshall Space Flight Center, announced June 3 that Marshall will transition from Stage 3 to Stage 2 of the NASA Framework for Return to On-Site Work, effective June 14.
This stage transition means that more work can be authorized to return to site, although telework will still be expected for most team members, including office workers. In Stage 2, only team members who must be on-site to perform their work may return, with supervisor approval.
“I am immensely proud of you for all you have accomplished under extraordinary conditions over the course of this pandemic period,” Singer said. “We have endured personal losses, more than 14 months of mandatory telework, additional safety protocols on-site, and the added stress of managing a work-life balance like never before.
“I urge you to continue to practice good health and safety measures, both on-site and out in the community. Please look for additional guidance about the potential of restarting services on-site as we work through this transition.”
Like Marshall’s previous transitions, center leadership used a methodical, risk-based, and data-driven approach to decide when the center can responsibly move to Stage 2. There was an observed sustained downward trend in new coronavirus cases in the Huntsville region and also available hospital capacity due to a reduction of COVID-19 patients requiring the most serious medical care. Team members’ observance of Marshall’s Safe at Work Protocol Guidelines continue to help the center prevent transmission of the virus on-site.
While the federal occupancy limit of 25% remains in effect, Marshall has implemented new mask guidance for those who are vaccinated. Vaccine availability is also a factor in the transition – ample supply is available – and leadership continues to encourage team members to get a vaccine.
Marshall leadership made the Stage 2 decision with careful consideration and consultation with agency leadership and other appropriate officials. They consulted with Team Redstone partners and health officials in order to ensure the decision aligns with their next steps, too.
“Other NASA centers have and are considering this positive move,” Singer said, “and we have been encouraged to make this move only when the time is right. We are ready.
“I have said many times that your health and safety are at the forefront of each decision we make. I am committed to protecting your well-being and that of your families. Thank you for your understanding, dedication to the mission, and agility as we move forward, together.”