The president of submarine builder General Dynamics Electric Boat has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, according to a Saturday statement from the company.
In a message to employees, Kevin Graney said he received the diagnosis after experiencing mild symptoms of fever and chills and sought out a test for the virus in the last several days.
“I will be out of the plant until I am cleared by medical to return. In line with our protocol and public heath guidance, employees who were near me and had close contact have been notified, and are monitoring their own health. My office and surrounding areas are being cleaned this weekend,” he wrote in his message.
“While I am able to work from home through my recovery period, Kurt Hesch will lead our organization for normal daily activities and events. Please provide Kurt your full support and continue to stay focused on our important work.”
Graney has led the Connecticut-based company since September, replacing former president Jeffrey Geiger. Previous to leading EB, Graney had overseen General Dynamic’s NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, Calif.
“Kevin is a talented engineer and shipbuilder, a good leader at the shipyard, and most importantly a really good person – we’re all rooting for him to get healthy as soon as possible, and it’s good to know that right now his symptoms are mild,” Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), chair of the House Armed Services sea power and projection forces committee, said in a Saturday statement.
“The top priority has to remain maintaining the health and safety of the thousands of hard-working men and women down at the shipyard who are working to meet real, tangible national security priorities in real time. Having been in constant contact with EB over these last challenging few weeks, I know that they are continually looking at additional ways to reduce risk for the people who work there.”
His diagnosis comes as the shipyard is in the midst of a massive $852 million capital expenditure project upgrading the yard. Electric Boat is the lead contractor for the Navy’s number one acquisition priority, the Columbia-class ballistic-missile submarine program.
The Navy plans to buy 12 of the boomers in a program estimated to cost $109 billion, according to a November 2019 Congressional Research Service report.
The yard is also gearing up for the Block V Virginia-class fast-attack submarine program. The Block V subs are larger than previous Virginia-class iterations because of an increased number of missile tubes in the Virginia Payload Module.
The following is the complete April 4, 2020 statement from Kevin Graney.
Hi everyone, today is Saturday April 4th.
Today I have some news about my own personal health. I learned yesterday evening I have tested positive for COVID 19.
While we have been talking about symptoms like fever, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, and body aches, my own experience with symptoms was pretty subtle. Overnight on Wednesday into Thursday this week, I developed what felt like a low grade fever. Under normal circumstances, I would’ve been tempted to take a few Tylenol and report to work. Instead, I heeded what Doc Andrews and Doc Hurley have been telling us and I stayed home.
I’ve been monitoring my temperature over the last few days and I’ve not seen a reading over 100 degrees. My symptoms remain mild – some nasal congestion and a low grade fever.
I will be out of the plant until I am cleared by medical to return. In line with our protocol and public heath guidance, employees who were near me and had close contact have been notified, and are monitoring their own health. My office and surrounding areas are being cleaned this weekend.
While I am able to work from home through my recovery period, Kurt Hesch will lead our organization for normal daily activities and events. Please provide Kurt your full support and continue to stay focused on our important work.
Please stay focused on your own personal health. Each of us knows when we’re not quite feeling right. In my case, the indicators were subtle, but enough to cause me to pay attention. Stay vigilant about your health and the health of those around you. Practice social distancing, wash your hands often stay hydrated and get rest when you can. Most importantly, stay home if you are sick.
Be safe, stay healthy and take care of yourselves and your teammates.