In this Aug. 29, 2018, file photo, a welder works on the hull a Zumwalt-class destroyer being built in the shipyard at Bath Iron Works in Bath. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Bath Iron Works will no longer require employees who have come in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus to self-quarantine.

Instead, employees will be required to report any close contact and will be allowed to continue to work unless they start to display coronavirus symptoms, The Times Record reported.

The move comes as the number of fully vaccinated Mainers continues to increase, with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that approximately 50 percent of Mainers have received a final vaccine dose.

Shipyard spokesperson David Hench told The Times Record that a significant number of employees had received a vaccination, but precise numbers were not available since vaccination reporting is voluntary.

The shipyard also held its first vaccine clinic Thursday, an effort that was made possible through a partnership with the Maine National Guard.

Hench told the Brunswick newspaper that the ability to keep employees from missing a number of days as they waited on a negative COVID-19 test has improved efficiency at the shipyard.

In February, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control updated operating guidelines for critical infrastructure organizations, allowing the “reintegration of in-person employees who have experienced an exposure to COVID-19 but remain symptom-free in ways that best protect the health of the employee.”

Hench told The Times Record that the Maine CDC has been supportive of the decision to change employee quarantine requirements.

Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.