© 2023 90.7 WMFE. All Rights Reserved.
Public Media News for Central Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Says Some TSA Officers, Other Employees May Not Have Masks

Photo: Avel Chuklanov @avelchuklanov
Photo: Avel Chuklanov @avelchuklanov

Thirteeen TSA officers have tested positive for coronavirus since last month.

Greater Orlando Aviation Authority CEO Phil Brown says not every TSA worker at the airport has a mask, days after the thirteenth TSA officer at the airport tested positive for coronavirus.

Brown says TSA administrator Dave Pekoske pledged to send more masks to the airport as they become available. 

“At this point some personnel have masks, more than some have. I think to the extent that they have them available they will provide them.”

[audio wav="https://www.wmfe.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/13004_AIRPORT-TSA_DANIELLE.wav"][/audio]

TSA Union leader Deb Hanna sounded the alarm on a shortage of N-95 and surgical masks among screeners at the airport last week. She said they were being forced to reuse masks over several shifts.

The TSA says there is no shortage of masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, or wipes at airports across the country.

Thirty-five concessions workers at the airport concerned about rising cases among TSA officers, filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration against their employer HMSHost last week. 

They claim they weren't given masks or told to use gloves when interacting with customers.

Brown said if the allegations are true, the airport will hold HMShost accountable.

“But we certainly encourage everybody to abide by the OSHA guidelines. The concession agreements require them to do that.”

[audio wav="https://www.wmfe.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/13003_OSHA_DANIELLE-1.wav"][/audio]

HMSHost says workers do have access to protective gear and training.

But Brown said he had to personally buy face coverings for GOAA employees because of a shortage. He said GOAA continues to deep clean commonly used areas in the airport and recommends washing hands with soap and water.
If you'd like to listen to the story, click on the clips above.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.
90.7 WMFE relies on donors like you. Your support allows us to provide independent, trustworthy journalism and fact-based content. Show your support today by contributing on a monthly basis or making a single online donation.