Rockland business at center of new Maine CDC COVID-19 investigation releases statement

Fri, 10/09/2020 - 10:30am

    ROCKLAND — In a mid-morning statement Oct. 9, Lonza Rockland Inc. addressed some of its employees testing positive for COVID-19. 

    Dr. Nirav Shah said Oct. 8 in his twice-weekly presentation to Maine concerning the status of COVID-19 in the state that the Maine CDC is investigating six cases occurring at the Lonza Group, in Rockland.

    Lonza Rockland is part of the Switzerland-based and publicly-held Lonza Group, which has labs, production centers and offices throughout the world, including Rockland.

    Lonza develops and manufactures products used in molecular and cellular biology research. Products include gels, media and specialized equipment for the study of DNA, RNA and Proteins. Customers include universities, hospitals, biotech and pharma companies, and government organizations worldwide.

    Five employees who work at Lonza’s Rockland location on Thomaston Street have reported they tested positive for COVID-19, according to an Oct. 9 statement issued by Rockland site manager Tammy Hagin. 

    “Our affected employees are in quarantine and Lonza is providing support, as needed,” said Hagin. “The health and safety of our employees is Lonza’s top priority. Protective measures against COVID-19 onsite include daily temperature screening, social distancing on site, provision of mandatory personal protective equipment, increased cleaning schedules and a split team work arrangement. In addition, all workers who are not required on site work remotely.” 

    Lonza has a global COVID-19 procedure which all sites are required to follow, should an employee be affected, according to the statement. 

    This procedure, aligned to the Center for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, includes but is not limited to: immediate quarantine for the affected employee; contact tracing; immediate quarantine and assessment of all close-contacts for possible COVID-19 infection; additional enhanced cleaning processes. 

    The Rockland site remains in production, per the statement. Lonza’s 42 employees were split into teams in March to ensure business continuity in the event of a reduction in work force, according to the statement.