Atlanta TSA policy change fuels COVID concerns for employees



Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently made adjustments to a policy requiring documentation for employees returning to work after testing positive for COVID-19.

ATLANTA, GA (WGCL) — According to a new policy, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently made adjustments to required documentation for employees returning to work after testing positive for COVID-19.

Regional spokesperson Mark Howell says, “As part of that change, only individuals hospitalized as a result of contracting COVID-19 are required to provide documentation from a health care provider before being allowed to return to work.”

He adds that TSA is continuing to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The health and safety of the workforce and traveling public remains a top priority,” says Howell.

Employees who test positive for COVID-19 are granted paid administrative leave days for a period not to exceed 10 calendar days. If the employee requires additional time to recover beyond the 10 days, they are authorized to take personal sick leave, emergency sick leave or leave without pay until they are fully recovered.

Guidance from the CDC specifies that persons diagnosed with COVID-19 should remain at their place of residence until the following criteria is met:

At least 10 days have passed since symptom onset (or 10 days after the date of your first positive test if you never had symptoms); At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and Other symptoms have improved.

Until these criteria are met, affected employees are not allowed to access any TSA facilities in order to protect their colleagues and the public at large from potential exposure to the coronavirus.

Despite TSA following guidance from the CDC, employees say they don’t necessarily feel safe

Delta Airlines is also making big changes as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact business. The Atlanta-based airlines is now urging 3,000 flight attendants to take unpaid leave and shorter schedules to avoid furloughs.

CBS46 reporter Barmel Lyons spoke with a Delta Cabin Service agent who out of fear of losing their job asked their identity be protected. The agent says that since April employees have been taking action to feel heard.

Believing their lives are in danger, the agent shared photos of employees not wearing masks, agents being exposed to disinfectant chemical products and rising coronavirus cases.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor notifying hazards at the workplace on Delta behalf.

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