Four employees at the ND Paper mill in Rumford have tested positive for COVID-19. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

RUMFORD — Four employees at the ND Paper mill in Rumford have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a company official.

“As we speak, we are testing all of our employees (around 650) for COVID, out of an abundance of precaution,” Janet Koski, director of human resources and communications, said Tuesday afternoon.

“We’re doing everything that we can to protect our folks. We’re working with the hospital, as well as the Maine CDC (Center for Disease Control & Prevention). We’re a subset of the community. I know there are cases in the community as well as here.”

Koski added: “If people are ill, they’re not to come in to work. We also screen temperatures for anyone coming into the mill.”

She said the mill is following all of the Maine CDC’s recommendations, including social distancing, cleaning, disinfecting and having everyone inside the mill wear a mask when within 6 feet of others.

Koski said the mill’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 should not affect its ability to maintain production.

Judilee Whittemore, recording secretary for the United Steelworkers Local 900, wrote Monday in a Facebook post that some of the Rumford mill’s workers are very sick.

“If you don’t believe in masks or COVID, then that’s your opinion, but while you’re at work you need to think of others’ safety and just do the right thing!” Whittemore wrote. “No. 12 machine is on the very edge of being shut down and we’re not doing well on orders as it is. Take care and hold on for the crazy ride!”

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