5 employees at Rumford paper mill test positive for COVID-19, officials say

Five employees at the ND Paper mill in Rumford have tested positive for the coronavirus, a company spokeswoman said.The company learned of the positive tests over the weekend.Officials notified employees and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which has launched an outbreak investigation.The spokeswoman said all 640 employees at the mill will be tested for the virus.Worker and union president Gary Hemingway was among the employees being tested on Tuesday.The union represents more than 500 of the mill’s workers. Hemingway said some people went home last week after not feeling well.“They were smart enough to stay outta work, but of course, we have some people in the mill that may be carrying it, and we are going to find out,” Hemingway said.Hemingway said temperatures are taken at the mill and masks must be worn.“If you got within 6 feet you should have your mask on. Now, you will have it on,” Hemingway said.He said he is concerned about the impact the virus will have on the work at the mill.“We are borderline on some of our equipment going down to run it,” Hemingway said.He said a machine going down would affect 80 to 100 workers.The mill, which makes paper and pulp, is still operating, according to the spokeswoman.The company said there has been a mask mandate at the mill since May.Hemingway had a message for any workers who might not want to wear masks.“It’s not something you can see smell or taste, but it can make you very sick. It can kill you your family, your relatives and your neighbors,” Hemingway said.

Five employees at the ND Paper mill in Rumford have tested positive for the coronavirus, a company spokeswoman said.

The company learned of the positive tests over the weekend.

Advertisement

Officials notified employees and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which has launched an outbreak investigation.

The spokeswoman said all 640 employees at the mill will be tested for the virus.

Worker and union president Gary Hemingway was among the employees being tested on Tuesday.

The union represents more than 500 of the mill’s workers. Hemingway said some people went home last week after not feeling well.

“They were smart enough to stay outta work, but of course, we have some people in the mill that may be carrying it, and we are going to find out,” Hemingway said.

Hemingway said temperatures are taken at the mill and masks must be worn.

“If you got within 6 feet you should have your mask on. Now, you will have it on,” Hemingway said.

He said he is concerned about the impact the virus will have on the work at the mill.

“We are borderline on some of our equipment going down to run it,” Hemingway said.

He said a machine going down would affect 80 to 100 workers.

The mill, which makes paper and pulp, is still operating, according to the spokeswoman.

The company said there has been a mask mandate at the mill since May.

Hemingway had a message for any workers who might not want to wear masks.

“It’s not something you can see smell or taste, but it can make you very sick. It can kill you your family, your relatives and your neighbors,” Hemingway said.