Workers leave Bath Iron Works after a shift on April 3, 2020. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty | AP

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Attendance has rebounded at Bath Iron Works after many workers took weeks off to protect their families from the new coronavirus.

A shipyard spokesperson told The Times Record that attendance at the shipyard had been 25 percent to 30 percent below normal, but on Monday it returned to “pre-COVID levels,” a reference to COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

[Our COVID-19 tracker contains the most recent information on Maine cases by county]

The spokesperson, David Hench, told the newspaper that “numerous changes” have been made to reduce the likelihood of the virus spreading at the shipyard, including workplace distancing, maintaining an “aggressive” cleaning schedule and providing face coverings, among other steps.

The Bath shipyard, which the U.S. Navy considers “critical infrastructure,” has remained open since March 12, when the first case of the coronavirus was confirmed in Maine. The shipyard offered workers options for taking time off.

Its decision to remain open drew criticism from Maine lawmakers and union leadership.

The president of the Local S7 union, Jessica Chubbuck-Goodwin, told the newspaper that some workers were ready to return to the shipyard, but others aren’t sure how to feel about the new safety measures.

The shipyard, which is owned by parent company General Dynamics, employs 6,800 people from all of Maine’s counties.

Only two cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed among workers from the shipyard, according to The Times Record. Both of those workers have recovered and returned to work.