SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Political leaders in San Jose are demanding for more information from the federal government after three TSA workers test positive for coronavirus.
A representative from the TSA screeners union told KPIX 5 that all three agents were screening passengers at the security check point at Terminal B and all worked the night-shift. Now political leaders are demanding answers from the TSA.
“If I’m a person with an underlying health risk, knowing what day I could have come in contact with that person and whether or not I was in the airport, would be profoundly important,” said Cindy Chavez, the President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.
She says TSA needs to be more transparent with information about the three workers who have tested positive for coronavirus or COVID-19.
Chavez signed a statement along with San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo along with every member of Congress from Santa Clara County saying, “If these employees were not in direct contact with travelers, we seek to reassure consumers. However, if the employees were posted at security checkpoints and had direct contact with travelers, we believe more information about posting locations and shift times should be made available to the public.”
The Head of Epidemiology at UC Berkeley says even if the TSA employees were in direct contact with passengers, people shouldn’t be overly worried.
“Being patted down by somebody, and even if they got the virus on their clothing, in the process of that, I think the risk is in fact very very low,” says Dr. Arthur Reingold, who also spent years working at the CDC.
People flying through the airport tonight say they are still worried about their safety.
“It is concerning. We planned this trip about 6 months ago, so we just didn’t want to cancel it, but if it were a couple of weeks later, I might not go,” said Miza Koketsu, who lives in Berkeley and was flying to New York City. “It’s disconcerting, but I’m here and I’ve got to get home. I don’t really have an option other than I’m going to be careful,” said Ron Lange, who lives in Seattle and was flying home.
The TSA screeners union also said 43 other TSA agents were staying home as a precaution because they worked closely with the three who tested positive. TSA is disputing those numbers, but will not confirm exactly how many agents are isolating at home.
TSA also will not confirm when the agents tested positive or where they worked in the airport.