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N-95 Masks Have Arrived at Orlando International Airport, But Are There Enough?

Photo: Josue Isai Ramos Figueroa @jramos10
Photo: Josue Isai Ramos Figueroa @jramos10

A union leader representing TSA officers at the Orlando International Airport is calling on the agency to provide more protective gear. That’s as another officer has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of officers with the virus to eleven.

Federal Security Director Pete Garcia, in an email to staff, says the last time the newly diagnosed officer was at the checkpoint was March 19th.

Union President Deb Hanna says the number of cases will continue to rise unless TSA provides more than the 5,000 masks they've already sent.

Otherwise, she says each worker might only get one mask that they would have to reuse, increasing their risk of exposure.

“The masks are supposed to be used either intermittent or continuous for about eight hours. Our guys are using them three to four days because there's not enough.”

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Hanna said the problem is there is nowhere locally that management at the airport can buy more masks.

“I spoke to one of the management last night and he said if I knew where to get them I would get them myself he said but they're just not available.”

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The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority says it continues to deep-clean commonly used areas and recommends employees practice good hygiene and stay home if they’re sick. 

Eleven works have fallen ill at Orlando International Airport with the virus.
If you'd like to listen to the story, click on the clips above.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.
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