DOE employee dies of coronavirus

By Hannah Northey | 04/07/2020 01:14 PM EDT

Energy Department headquarters in Washington.

Energy Department headquarters in Washington. Francis Chung/E&E News

An Energy Department employee in the agency’s Washington headquarters has died of COVID-19, the agency said today.

Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette in a note to staff obtained by E&E News said the worker fell ill in the second week of March and had not returned to the department’s headquarters since then.

"I regret to share with you that we have lost a member of our Forrestal team to COVID-19," the secretary wrote. "This development is tragic, and it underscores the need to take care of ourselves and those around us through the precautions we all know well by now."


"It is worth remembering in times like this that DOE was forged in the fires of crisis and national need. We are strong, and I believe that we will come through this period of great challenge even stronger and with renewed commitment," he added.

Brouillette said the agency would not release details about the employee because of privacy concerns.

The DOE chief today posted a separate note on the agency’s website announcing that two additional employees have tested positive for the virus.

Brouillette noted that one employee had been away from the Forrestal building since Feb. 14 and the other since March 30. Both are recovering in self-quarantine, he said.

"DOE is notifying employees who work in close proximity to these individuals and is deep cleaning their immediate and surrounding work areas," he wrote.

Reporter Christa Marshall contributed.