The New Balance factories in Norridgewock, above, and Skowhegan were closed Friday after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file Buy this Photo

New Balance shoe factories in Skowhegan and Norridgewock closed Friday after an employee tested positive for COVID-19, marking the company’s first confirmed case in Maine.

It was the second time this summer the footwear factories closed. They first closed for a day in June while an employee was awaiting a test which ultimately came back negative for COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

“New Balance’s top priority is to maintain the health and safety of our associates, customers, and communities,” the company said in a statement Friday. “As soon as we were notified that an associate in our Norridgewock factory tested positive for COVID-19, our first confirmed case in Maine, we followed our comprehensive safety procedures. Our thoughts are with our colleague for a swift recovery.”

The factories were closed Friday for a precautionary cleaning day.

New Balance produces some 3 million pairs of athletic shoes each year in the U.S. – and even more worldwide. The company employs 900 workers in Maine, and also has a factory in the town of Norway.

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