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Tampa International Airport confirms 3 COVID-19 cases day after denying there were any cases

Airport not disclosing exactly where each worked
Posted at 5:35 PM, Apr 02, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. — On Thursday, Tampa International Airport confirmed airport workers have tested positive for COVID-19, just days after the I-Team began investigating a tip about coronavirus cases there.

The I-Team obtained an internal memo that was sent to employees Wednesday notifying them of the cases.

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That memo went out a day after a spokesperson for the airport authority told us there were no coronavirus cases there.

Thousands of people work at the airport every day, including about 700 people who work directly for the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, which runs the airport. Other people work for airline companies or businesses that operate stores or restaurants.

There are also employees that operate transportation services or baggage handling services.

On Wednesday afternoon, a memo was sent to employees saying, in part:

We recently learned that three workers at the Airport have tested positive for COVID-19 that include one Authority employee and two tenant employees. They appear unlikely to be connected to one another, as all three work for different organizations. The news of these cases is not unexpected. TPA has more than 10,000 people working for all the companies that do business here. Statistically, we can assume that some of these employees will become infected with COVID-19 as the virus spreads and testing becomes more available.

The ABC Action News I-Team first started asking about multiple coronavirus cases for airport workers on Saturday after receiving a tip.

On Tuesday afternoon, an airport spokesperson told us there were no confirmed cases.

We confirmed there was an airport internal briefing about these same positive cases just hours after that spokesperson’s denial.

The airport says it has disinfected the areas where the workers with coronavirus had been, but did not disclose where they worked in the airport or when the airport was alerted that they tested positive.

Please keep all of those who are dealing with COVID-19 infections in your thoughts and prayers for a fast and full recovery. I am especially thankful and grateful for our team members, tenants and business partners who continue to work on-site to ensure that our Airport remains safe and open for business to serve our travelers.
Airport Authority CEO Joe Lopano said in the memo.

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