March 23, 2020
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Worker at Bath Iron Works tests positive for coronavirus

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Bath Iron Works' largest crane towers over the shipyard in Bath in this May 13, 2015, file photo.

As of 11:30 a.m. Monday, March 23, 107 Maine residents have been confirmed positive for the coronavirus, according to the state. Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support this mission by purchasing a digital subscription.

A worker at Bath Iron Works has tested positive for the new coronavirus.

General Dynamics, the Bath shipyard’s parent company, said Sunday that the employee was last at work in the main yard on March 13.

The shipyard is notifying those employees who were in contact with that worker and will be under observation for 14 days from their last contact, according to General Dynamics.

The company urged workers who show symptoms of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, not to report to work. It said its medical personnel are working with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

That news comes days after a group of 17 Maine Democrats called for the Trump administration to extend shipbuilding deadlines for BIW, saying it is no longer safe for the shipyard to maintain normal operations during the coronavirus outbreak.

House Speaker Sara Gideon and Senate President Troy Jackson, along with 15 other legislative Democrats, in a letter sent Wednesday asked Maine’s congressional delegation to “do all in your power” to convince the Trump administration to extend those deadlines by “at least an additional six months, or by as long as a national emergency declaration is in place.”

In a memo last Tuesday, General Dynamics said the U.S. Navy confirmed the Bath shipyard was considered “critical infrastructure” under White House guidance that directed defense contractors to continue to operate normally in the interest of national security.

The shipyard employs about 6,800 workers from all 16 of Maine’s counties.

There are now 107 cases of the coronavirus across nine counties, the Maine CDC reported Monday. That includes three cases in Sagadahoc County, where the Bath shipyard is located.

Watch: Symptoms of the coronavirus disease


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