The ND Paper mill in Rumford is pictured on Aug. 20. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN

An employee of the ND Paper Mill in Rumford who tested positive for COVID-19 has died.

Amy Lee, director of communications for ND Paper, confirmed the employee’s death in a statement Wednesday morning. 

“COVID-19 cases in Oxford County have doubled in the past 21 days. With that, we’ve felt the impact in our mill. We’re exceptionally saddened to confirm an employee passed away; we recently learned the Maine CDC classified this passing as COVID-related,” she said.

Lee said the company could not offer any other comments due to privacy reasons.

The state launched an investigation into the mill outbreak last week after four employees tested positive for the disease.

As of Tuesday, there were 21 reported cases of COVID-19 at the mill, said Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Shah said the cases seem to be focused on one part of the mill but the state is also concerned about community transmission potentially happening outside of the facility.

Last week, Sanford High School closed its academic buildings for two weeks after discovering three people involved with the school and the regional technical center tested positive.

The district is now handling an outbreak that continues to grow by day. On Wednesday, there were a total of 13 positive cases within the high school and technical center.