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2nd BIW Worker Tests Positive For COVID-29

Robert F. Bukaty
Associated Press
In this Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018 photo, a welder works on the hull a Zumwalt-class destroyer being built in the shipyard at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.

Bath Iron Works has announced that a second employee at the Maine shipyard has tested positive for COVID-19.In an online message, BIW parent company General Dynamics says the worker had last been on the job on Tuesday.

BIW says it's met with employees who have been in close contact with the worker, and is  "thoroughly sanitizing" parts of the shipyard.

The company says it's also added new hygiene procedures, and brought in additional cleaning crews.

Local union leaders have repeatedly called on BIW to shut down the shipyard to protect public health and TO provide paid leave to workers. But the company has so far chosen to continue operations, pointing to letters from federal defense officials describing the shipyard as critical.

Gov. Janet Mills and the state's congressional delegation have repeatedly called on the Department of Defense to provide guidance to private shipyards to protect the health of workers.

"The Navy is clear on the need to maintain its operating tempo, and we must do the same," wrote BIW President Dirk Lesko in a letter to employees earlier this week. "Our work here every day matters to the defense of this nation."