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It's One Year Since the First Case of Coronavirus in a TSA Officer at Orlando International Airport: What's Changed Since Then?

A U.S. Department of Homeland Security seal is seen as a TSA official moves a bin for additional screening at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Since that time more than 190 TSA officers at the airport have gotten sick with COVID-19. 


Just a week after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic, a TSA officer at the Orlando International Airport was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 18, 2020. 

It was the first case of coronavirus at the airport in an officer who had been working the security checkpoint just days before their diagnosis. 

In the year since, more than 190 TSA officers at the airport have fallen ill with the virus even with mandatory face masks, deep cleaning and social distancing in place among workers and passengers.

Federal Security Director Pete Garcia reported two new cases of the virus in TSA agents today alone. The workers’ last days at the airport were March 12 and March 16 respectively. 

The airport is experiencing its busiest Spring Break since the start of the pandemic, with some 40,000 passengers departing every day.

TSA agents who are veterans and those who are non-veterans but considered mission-critical, can get their shot at the Orlando VA. They are not eligible to get shots yet at state or federal-run vaccine sites unless they are medically vulnerable.

For a vaccine schedule, click here.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.