AUBURN — Maine officials confirmed Thursday that seven workers at the Tambrands facility on Hotel Road in Auburn have tested positive for COVID-19.

A spokesman for the company, however, said Thursday there were “five active positive cases” at the Auburn plant.

The company has 365 workers at the site and about 110 contractors that fluctuate in numbers based on demand, according to Patrick Blair, a spokesman for the company.

According to Procter & Gamble, the Auburn plant’s employees come from 70 communities spread over eight counties in Maine.

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention, said during a coronavirus news briefing by videoconference Thursday his office had been on a conference call with the company shortly before the 2 p.m. media briefing.

Shah said his agency is “currently aware of seven cases” and has opened an investigation into the outbreak. Maine CDC was discussing with the company the possibility of testing everyone at the facility for the virus that causes COVID-19, Shah said.

A spokesman for the agency said cases associated with the Procter & Gamble-owned facility had been reported incrementally since last week.

Late Wednesday, the Maine CDC confirmed the outbreak, defined as three confirmed cases that are epidemiologically linked, spokesman Robert Long said.

As is the case with all outbreaks, Maine CDC has recommended universal testing of all individuals associated with the outbreak, Long said.

“Our epidemiologists have conversed with managers at the company to facilitate a system that would offer testing to all employees and others who might have been exposed,” he said.

As is the case with all confirmed cases, Maine CDC has conducted or continues to conduct contact tracing for the individuals who have tested positive, he said. This means anyone who might have been exposed to someone who has tested positive would be contacted by the state agency.

Likewise, Maine CDC calls for self-isolation and treatment for those who have tested positive, Long said.

Communicating through a written statement Thursday, Blair said: “Our first priority is to ensure the health and safety of our colleagues. With guidance from medical professionals, we’re constantly evaluating and updating the robust measures already in place to help our people stay safe at work, regardless of whether they are working at home or making, packing and shipping P&G products at our sites.

“This includes temperature scans, shift rotations, queueing avoidance, physical distancing, and wearing of masks. We’re performing comprehensive, methodical cleaning of all production areas, including regular sanitization and surface disinfection that exceeds the most rigorous health authority standards.”

The Auburn plant is the only one of the company’s facilities that produces Tampax products for the United States and Canada, with exports to Asia and Europe. Tampax is the worldwide market leader in the tampon industry, according to company data.

Christopher Williams — 207-689-2803

[email protected]

Twitter: @cwilliamsSJ

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: