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3 more Nashville International Airport TSA officers test positive for COVID-19

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Posted at 6:54 AM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 11:29:25-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Three more TSA officers working at Nashville International Airport have tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Last week, NewsChannel 5 learned the first officer at BNA tested positive for the virus, bringing the total to four agents who have confirmed cases of COVID-19.

TSA said the employees were screening officers and baggage officers.

Both screening officers worked at the main checkpoint during the 3 to 11:30 a.m. shift. As previously reported, the first screening officer to test positive last worked on March 18. The second screening officer last worked on March 26.

Of the two baggage officers who tested positive, one worked from 4 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. until March 20 and the second worked 12 to 8:30 p.m. until March 17.

TSA officials have been keeping track of the agency's confirmed cases of COVID-19.

"TSA is working with the CDC and state and local health departments to monitor local situations as well as the health and safety of our employees and the traveling public," TSA said. "Impacted security checkpoints may close as needed, so you may be redirected to other security screening checkpoints at the airport. TSA officers remain dedicated to their mission to ensure that travelers can get to their destinations as safely and securely as possible."

As of March 29, TSA said 83 employees across the country have tested positive, with 61 of them working as TSA screening officers.

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What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.

Prevention

The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.