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COVID-19

COVID-19 Cases Spike Among TSA Workers Post Thanksgiving

COVID-19 Cases Spike Among TSA Workers Post Thanksgiving
Joe Cortez

After a surge of flyers took to the skies for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Transportation Security Administration says they are experiencing an increase of COVID-19 infections among their ranks. Sixteen different airports reported more than 50 cases after the holiday, with major airports in population centers reporting many more.

Despite the advice from health officials, over five million flyers were screened by Transportation Security Administration employees in the days before the Thanksgiving holidays. Now, the agency is dealing with a spike in COVID-19 cases among their ranks. American Business Journals reports 16 different airports across the United States experienced a rise in confirmed cases among security workers.

Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and New York All Report Over 100 New Cases Among TSA Workers

According to data provided by the TSA, six airports all reported over 100 cases of COVID-19 among their employees as of Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. Miami International Airport (MIA) reported the most to date, with 177 agents contracting the virus. The latest agent tested positive on Nov. 25, 2020. Two other Florida airports had over 80 confirmed cases so far in 2020: Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) reported 102 cases, while Orlando International Airport (MCO) had 99 agents sick with the novel Coronavirus.

In New York, two airports reported over 100 cases of COVID-19 among security screeners. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) reported 148 cases to date, while Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) reported 140 cases this year. The latest cases were both confirmed on Nov. 23, 2020.

Other hotspots for COVID-19 include Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles. Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) reports a total of 148 infected workers, and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) reported 118 confirmed cases. At Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), 113 TSA workers have had confirmed viral infections. The latest cases at all three airports were reported between Nov. 21 and 22.

TSA Does Not Provide Direct Notification When Workers Test Positive

TSA data notes 3,387 federal employees with the agency have tested positive for COVID-19, with 10 confirmed deaths. However, the TSA is not providing direct notification to flyers if they may have been in contact with an infected security screener. Rather, all COVID-19 related data is published on the TSA website, with the total number of confirmed cases at all airports across the country.

Ed. note: The article has changed to reflect the COVID-19 case counts at Florida airports were year-to-date, not month-to-date. The writer erred.

View Comments (5)

5 Comments

  1. ND Sol

    December 2, 2020 at 5:07 am

    “Miami International Airport (MIA) reported the most over the month, with 177 agents contracting the virus. The latest agent tested positive on Nov. 25, 2020. Two other Florida airports had over 80 confirmed cases in the month: Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) reported 102 cases, while Orlando International Airport (MCO) had 99 agents sick with the novel Coronavirus.”

    These statements are just not true and a cursory review of the TSA website would show that. First, the numbers are not for the month, but are for the whole pandemic. Second, very few of these cases happened during the week of Thanksgiving. It’s too bad that the link from which you try to make the opposite point is behind a subscriber paywall. Third, the listed numbers are not cases and are certainly not “agents sick with the novel Coronavirus (sic)”; the numbers listed are for positive tests only (which have been shown to be not accurate for a full-on case). As the TSA notes on its website, “Since the beginning of the pandemic, TSA has cumulatively had 3,387 federal employees test positive for COVID-19.” The article headline, “COVID-19 Cases Spike Among TSA Workers Post Thanksgiving” is misleading at best.

  2. lyst

    December 2, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    Thanks for clarifying.

  3. lyst

    December 2, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    So tired of misinformation to keep the fear going up.

  4. azmojo

    December 2, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    I guess the masks aren’t working.

  5. Dublin_rfk

    December 3, 2020 at 3:28 am

    Something stinks! Front line tsa employees wear masks, front line tsa employees are ‘exposed’ to individual members of the public for SECONDS, members of the public that are within yards of front line tsa employees are wearing masks and are socially distant. So, either tsa employees are being exposed when not at work OR all of these guidelines and restrictions are a hoax. I have been exposed to frontline tsa employees twice a week every week all year including numerous secondary inspections that require full body patdowns and I am virus free with more than a dozen negative virus tests up my nose.

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