RUMFORD — Officials at ND Paper confirmed Tuesday that an employee died after testing positive for COVID-19.

Last week, the state reported an outbreak at the mill that started with four positive tests and grew to 16 by the end of the week.

Amy Lee, director of communications for ND Paper, confirmed the employee’s death Tuesday, stating, “As you probably know, COVID-19 cases in Oxford County have doubled in the past 21 days. With that, we’ve felt the impact in our mill. We’re exceptionally saddened to confirm an employee passed away; we recently learned the Maine CDC classified this passing as COVID-related.”

The mill employs about 650 people. ND Paper said last week that it has been working with Rumford Hospital to test more than 600 employees, with more tests conducted this week.

Gary Hemingway, president of the Paperworkers union Local 900, said last week that roughly 75 to 80 people at the mill were out of work due to health conditions or the need to quarantine.

Hemingway said if cases continue to grow and there are not enough people to run the equipment, the mill may have to shut down temporarily.

This story will be updated. 

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