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Tag: screeners

3 Dozen TSA Employees Tested Positive for Coronavirus in 12 States

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The number of TSA employees who have tested positive for coronavirus has soared to 36 since the outbreak began two weeks ago.

Of those, 28 are TSA screening officers who have close interactions with the public. Another eight non-screening employees with limited interactions with the public have tested positive.

The positive cases are spread across 12 states: Washington, Nevada, California, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Indiana, Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, New York and New Jersey.

Hundreds of TSA screeners and other employees also are quarantined because they either had contact with coworkers who tested positive or because they are showing symptoms.

At some airports, multiple TSA screeners have tested positive. There are six cases involving workers at John F. Kennedy International Airpot in New York and four at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

Three TSA screeners at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport in California were the first agency employees to test positive for coronavirus on March 10.

For details of each positive case, click here.

 

Via TSA

 

23 TSA Workers Tested Positive for Coronavirus in Airports in Seven States

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The number of TSA screeners infected with coronavirus reached at least 23 in seven states.

The TSA said the positive cases involve airports in New York, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, New Jersey, California, and the Virgin Islands.

Many more TSA screeners are under quarantine.

At some airports, multiple TSA screeners have tested positive. There are five cases involving workers at John F. Kennedy International Airpot in New York and four at Orlando International Airport in Florida.

Three TSA screeners at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport in California were the first agency employees to test positive for coronavirus on March 10.

Number of TSA Screeners with Coronavirus Reaches 12, As Hundreds Opt to Stay Home

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The number of TSA screeners who have tested positive for the coronavirus has reached 12, the agency has confirmed.

The screeners work in airports in New York, Ohio, New Jersey, California, Florida and Georgia.

Another TSA employee who is not a screener and had limited contact with the public also tested for the coronavirus.

An undisclosed number of the those screeners’ coworkers will be quarantined for 14 days, the TSA said.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), which represents nearly 50,000 TSA officers nationwide, is calling on more protections for the screeners.

Fears of becoming infected with the coronavirus has prompted hundreds of screeners to skip work, raising concerns of staffing shortfalls. TSA Administrator David Pekoske gave TSA employees permission to use paid “weather and sick leave” if they decided to stay home, Government Executive reports.

 

Records: At least 13 Homeland Security Officials Tested Positive for Coronavirus, Nearly 500 More Are Quarantined

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The coronavirus has hit federal Homeland Security employees hard.

At least 13 employees for the agency have been confirmed or presumed positive for COVID-19, but only eight of those cases – all TSA screeners – have been publicly disclosed, according to documentation obtained by POLITICO.

The records also show that nearly 500 Homeland Security employees have been quarantined.

Homeland Security officials declined to comment for the story.

The risk to federal workers is high because many of the more than 240,000 Homeland Security employees are still working and in close proximity to the public.

“The department’s leadership is going to have to pay very close attention as this public health crisis evolves,” John Cohen, former acting undersecretary of intelligence and analysis., told POLTICO. “It has to be concerned that its ability to carry out its core mission could be compromised if there’s a widespread outbreak of the virus among DHS personnel. And quite frankly, that’s something that federal, state, and local officials need to be concerned about across the board — that this virus will spread among first responders, law enforcement, and Homeland Security personnel, compromising the ability of those organizations to protect the public.”

Sixth TSA Screener Tests Positive for Coronavirus at U.S. Airports

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A TSA screener at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida is the sixth employee of the agency to be tested positive for the coronavirus.

The screener “is receiving medical care and all TSA employees they have come in contact with over the past 14 days are self-isolated at home,” a TSA spokesperson said in a statement Sunday, The Sun-Sentinel reports. “Screening checkpoints remain open and the agency is working with the CDC, as well as the Florida Department of Health, Broward County office to monitor the situation as well as the health and safety of our employees and the traveling public.”

On Saturday, the TSA said one of its agents also contracted the virus at Orlando International Airport.

Four screeners have tested positive for the coronavirus at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport in California, the TSA announced on a web page dedicated to the virus.

The union representing TSA screeners is asking for more guidance for its members to avoid the coronavirus.

On Wednesday, Congressional Democrats questioned the top TSA official about what the agency is doing to protect workers and the public from the quickly spreading coronavirus.

House Democrats Question Top TSA Official about Measures to Protect Workers, Passengers

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Congressional Democrats questioned the top TSA official Wednesday about what the agency is doing to protect workers and the public from the quickly spreading coronavirus.

On Tuesday, three screeners at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport in Northern California tested positive for the coronavirus.

Fielding questions at a Homeland Security subcommittee hearing, TSA Administrator David Pekoske told lawmakers that TSA agents regularly clean checkpoints and are allowing passengers to carry on large quantities of sanitizers.

“It’s going to require a little bit more screening on our part because we have to verify that that is, in fact, hand sanitizer in the bottle, but we do want to increase that volume to make it easier for passengers, particularly those that don’t check bags, to bring a volume of sanitizer with them,” Pekoske said, The Hill reports. “Because, as you know, you can go to another city and find none available on the shelves.”

Lawmakers asked Pekoske to ensure the TSA checkpoints are clean.

“Coronavirus is just one of many others to come, so we need to make sure that your workforce is prepared to address these health issues, as well as terrorist issues that are coming at us,” Rep. Lou Correa, D-Calif., said.

3 TSA Screeners Test Positive for Coronavirus in Northern California

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Three TSA screeners in northern California have tested positive for the coronavirus, the agency said Tuesday.

The employees work at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport and are the first TSA screeners to test positive with the coronavirus.

The agency didn’t disclose the identities of the workers.

“The officers are receiving medical care and all TSA employees they have come in contact with over the past 14 days are quarantined at home,” the TSA said in a statement.

“Screening checkpoints remain open and the agency is working with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), as well as the California Department of Public Health and the Santa Clara County Public Health Department to monitor the situation as well as the health and safety of our employees and the traveling public. We will update as more information becomes available.”

The positive tests are troublesome because screeners have contact with thousands of passengers a day.

On Sunday, the FBI confirmed one of its employees from the San Francisco Division tested positive for the coronavirus.

The FBI also has ordered $40,000 worth of face masks and hand sanitizers in the event of a pandemic.

Trump’s Shutdown Endangers Airport Safety As Unpaid TSA Screeners Call in Sick, Quit

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump said the government shutdown could last months or even years because border protection is so important.

But what about airline safety?

In the first weeks of the shutdown, protection at U.S. airport has been compromised because TSA screeners are calling in sick – and some are quitting – because they can’t afford to work without a paycheck.

The agency’s 51,739 screeners are required to work during the shutdown because their services – screening bags and passengers for weapons – are considered essential.

But with no assurances of getting paid until the shutdown is over, a growing number of screeners have called in sick.

Airports are increasingly concerned about airport safety and disruptions.

“We’re concerned that a prolonged government shutdown could potentially impact security and wait times at airports,” Christopher Bidwell, a senior vice president for security at the Airports Council International-North America in Washington, told Time.

During previous government shutdowns, Congress made sure that federal employees who are forced to work are paid. That has happened yet.

Under normal circumstances, screeners would get paid this Friday. If they don’t, airports are bracing for long wait times, disturbances and potential threats to airlines and passengers.