WestRock has a “small number” of employees who have tested positive for COVID-19, a company spokesman said Monday.

John Pensec, WestRock’s corporate director of communications for the Atlanta-based company, issued a statement Monday in response to reports of increased cases among employees at the Covington mill.

On Friday, the company initially confirmed that two employees in Covington had tested positive for COVID-19. An email sent to public officials in Covington over the weekend said the case number at the mill had grown to five. The email was not distributed by WestRock officials.   

In his statement Monday, Pensec commented on the Covington mill,  saying: “We have had a small number of employees test positive for the Coronavirus.”

Pensec said the company is following guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in handling the situation.

“We continue to take the proper steps to protect the health and safety of our WestRock team, including practicing social distancing, implementing daily health screenings and temperature checks, and reinforcing proper hygiene and preventative practices.”

Pensec said WestRock has also increased cleaning and sanitization protocols at its  facilities.

Monday, Virginia had 31,140 confirmed cases of COVID-19, representing 700 more cases from Sunday. Deaths from the disease totaled 1,014, up five from Sunday.

Alleghany County was reporting nine confirmed cases Monday. Covington was still reporting two cases. Bath County was one of three localities in the state still reporting no cases.