The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) notified the Port of Seattle on Tuesday, Mar. 24, 2020 that a security officer who worked at Sea-Tac Airport (SEA) has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Officials say that the officer last worked the morning shift at the airport on Saturday, Mar. 21, at Checkpoint 5.
The Port says that Checkpoint 5 is currently closed for additional cleaning.
It is unknown if this officer has yet infected anyone.
A dozen other airports have had TSOs test positive for COVID-19. You can find all the positive tests at this TSA website: https://www.tsa.gov/coronavirus
TSA says it follows public health guidance to notify employees who were in close contact with the security officer. No word though on whether they will try to contact passengers who were also in close contact.
As we previously reported, on Jan. 21 a traveler disembarked from a trip to China at Sea-Tac Airport – the first known case of the deadly virus in the U.S. at the time.
“Employees or travelers who believe they may have been in contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19 should consult with their healthcare provider,” the Port said in a statement.
Current TSA instructions require frontline personnel to wear nitrile gloves when screening an individual or their property, which adds an additional layer of protection. Any swabs utilized as part of a screening procedure (checkpoint and checked baggage) will not be reused for multiple passengers.
TSA has authorized frontline personnel whose security screening tasks require them to routinely come into close contact with the traveling public to wear surgical masks if they choose to do so. Those masks are made available to TSA employees.