Vendor at BIW tests positive for COVID-19 – Portland Press Herald – Press Herald

A vendor at Bath Iron Works has become the third person working at the shipyard to test positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

BIW said the vendor was “fully covered” in personal protective equipment while at the shipyard Friday and has since gone into quarantine. Two additional vendors who were in close proximity to the person who tested positive for COVID-19 were also wearing PPE, the shipyard said, but are now in quarantine as well.

BIW has reported two other confirmed COVID-19 cases and said both people have recovered fully and are back at work.

Union officials have called for the shipyard to shut down as the pandemic continues. The first confirmed case at BIW was reported March 13 and company officials have refused to shut down the yard, saying the Trump administration has determined the company’s construction of Navy ships is essential to the national defense and must continue.

The company said employee attendance plummeted after that initial test, with only 41 percent of workers clocking in two days after the shipyard announced the first positive test.

At the beginning of this month, BIW called on its workers to resume normal attendance, giving them four options: return to work, request an alternative shift assignment, use unused paid time off or request a leave of absence for a minimum of 30 calendar days and a maximum of 90 calendar days.

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