On March 16th, I wrote a post about the updates TSA had made for I.D. use at airport security checkpoints. I also included a relatively new addition to TSA’s website, how many TSA officers had been diagnosed with coronavirus. At the time, the total number had been 6, in 3 airports:
Well travel friends, times have changed…
According to this post from April 15th, TSA currently has 412 employees who have recently tested positive for coronavirus. That’s 69 times the amount which had been diagnosed a month ago. Only 31 of those were non-screening employees; the other 381 were screeners whose job is to be face-to-face with passengers.
Besides the 412 who are currently sick, 54 other employees have recovered and 3, unfortunately, have passed away from the virus. So that’s 469 in total.
According to this TSA By The Numbers fact sheet (dated February 16th, 2019), there are over 43,000 transportation security officers employed at nearly 440 federalized airports. So roughly 1% have been ill so far.
According to the CDC, as of April 14th, there have been 605,390 total cases of COVID-19 in the United States, Washington D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands, with 24,582 deaths.
The population of the United States is roughly 328,200,000. So approximately 0.0018, or 2/10 of 1% have been ill so far.
1% vs. 2/10 of 1%. That’s a huge difference.
- Not nearly everyone with symptoms of COVID-19 in the U.S. has been tested (so lots and LOTS of people potentially have had it and haven’t been properly diagnosed). However, if a TSA officer has some of the symptoms, I suspect they’re tested.
- Unlike some of us, TSA officers can’t social distance while they’re on the job (and who knows if they effectively can while on break).
- The union for TSA officers, the American Federation of Government Employees, didn’t finally convince the TSA to allow and provide their officers with N95 masks (which are designed to screen out 95% of airborne particles, if the masks fit correctly) until March 27th (and they’re apparently still not “required,” just “allowed”).
So yeah, that would make sense.
But wow…all things considered, that’s a whole lot of TSA officers who have it. Good thing there aren’t more people flying, so I suspect the number would be even higher.
#stayhealthy #stayathome #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary