More than 400 employees at the Woodland Pulp mill in Baileyville are being tested for COVID-19 after at least seven out-of-state contractors tested positive for the virus.
Mill officials were notified of the positive cases Tuesday after the workers from a New York company were among at least 600 subcontractors brought in for routine maintenance to the facility last week.
The contractors were tested after leaving the state, according to Woodland Pulp spokesperson Scott Beal.
One local worker has since tested positive for the virus. Beal said of 25 people identified a ‘close contacts’ to the positive cases 20 have tested negative for the virus.
Woodland Pulp is working with Calais Regional Hospital to test all of its employees Thursday and Friday.
“We think that’s the most prudent thing we can do for our employees and their families and by extension our local communities,” Beal said.
The hospital posted to Facebook Wednesday urging the surrounding community to remain calm.
“Not everyone needs to be tested and conducting testing without cause could delay testing for someone who meets the criteria and possibly an unknown positive,” the hospital said in the posts.
Hospital officials urged locals to ‘remain vigilant’ and practice mask-wearing, hand washing, and social distancing.
This story will be updated.