Tom Fanning, president and chief executive officer of Southern Company, on July 10 announced via Twitter that he has tested positive for COVID-19. One of the largest U.S. utilities, Southern is the parent company of the owners and operators of the Farley, Hatch, and Vogtle nuclear power plants.
Also on July 10, the state of Georgia obliterated its record for the number of COVID-19 cases in a single day, reporting 4,484 new cases, topping the previous record by more than 1,000. Fanning lives in Atlanta.
The tweet: “While never experiencing any symptoms, I recently tested positive for COVID-19,” Fanning tweeted. “I continue to lead Southern Company as normal under the remote working protocols we began in March. I am in sequestration at home, staying away from others & teleworking as I have been. Safety First!”
More: According to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Southern spokesman Schuyler Baehman said he was unaware of how or when Fanning might have contracted the disease or when and why he had been tested. The company’s board has not met in person in recent months, Baehman added.
Vogtle update: Among nuclear power plants, the Vogtle plant in Waynesboro, Ga., has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and on July 8, the Augusta Chronicle reported more than 50 active cases of COVID-19 at the Vogtle-3 and -4 construction site.
In April, Southern announced that it was cutting back the new-build project’s workforce by some 20 percent in order to better address the pandemic.