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Bath Iron Works worker has COVID-19

BIW says the employee infected with coronavirus last worked in the Main Yard on March 13.

BATH, Maine — Editor's note: there are lots of rumors and misinformation surrounding COVID-19. The above video separates fact from fiction.

Bath Iron Works confirmed on their website over the weekend that an employee working in the Main Yard in Bath, Maine tested positive for coronavirus, or COVID-19. BIW officials say the last time the employee worked was on March 13.

BIW officials are notifying anyone who came into contact with that employee to stay away from work and monitor for any symptoms for at least 14 days since their last contact.

In a statement Monday to members, Local S6 of the Machinists Union, the largest union at BIW, wrote that they were notified Sunday night that members including several who work in the union hall "were in direct contact with an individual from management who tested positive."

Local S6 president Chris Wiers said Monday that the 12 to 15 people were exposed during a meeting on March 12. 

According to the release, those employees, as well as employees in security, labor relations and other members of management who had contact with the infected individual, along with spouses, are to be quarantined for 14 days from the date of exposure..

Wiers said all those quarantined are eligible to be screened to return to work on Friday.

On its web page, BIW asks any employees with symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home and immediately contact their health care provider, then the Nurse Triage Line at 207-442-4286. Any BIW employees experiencing symptoms at work are asked to immediately notify their supervisor and call the Nurse Triage Line.

RELATED: Citing unsafe work practices, the largest union at BIW elevates call for shipyard to be shut down

BIW has remained open for business despite calls over recent weeks from unions, local and state government and others to close as a precaution against spreading the virus.

The defense contractor is considered by federal government a "critical infrastructure industry" like health care and food supply.

In a letter from Assistant Secretary of the Navy James F. Geurts to BIW President Dirk Lesko, Geurts said the work being done at BIW is "crucial to our national security." 

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At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section here. 

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