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TSA closes Hartsfield-Jackson checkpoint after employee contracts COVID-19

File photo of security lines at the Atlanta airport.
File photo of security lines at the Atlanta airport.

The main security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport temporarily closed Wednesday after a Transportation Security Administration screener tested positive for the coronavirus.

The TSA officer last worked at the main checkpoint June 30 from 3:30 a.m. to noon.

The agency said it closed the checkpoint for deep cleaning.

That's the procedure the agency has been using when TSA screeners test positive for COVID-19. There have been at least 30 confirmed cases among TSA employees at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. In April, an employee died after contracting the virus.

The domestic terminal has three security checkpoints, though the Terminal South checkpoint has been closed for construction work to expand it.

Travelers are being redirected to the Terminal North checkpoint, where the wait time was 45-60 minutes long on Wednesday afternoon, according to the airport’s website.

The TSA reopened a few lanes at the main checkpoint by Wednesday evening, with plans to fully reopen it Thursday.

TSA spokesman Mark Howell said travelers should allow extra time to get through security screening, “in case something like this happens.”

Passenger traffic is expected to bump up for the Fourth of July holiday period, with Thursday as the peak travel day during the long weekend. Officials are advising holiday travelers to get to the airport early.

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