Four TSA screeners at Hartsfield-Jackson test positive for coronavirus

Checkpoints at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta on March 21,2020. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
Checkpoints at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta on March 21,2020. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

A total of four security screeners at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport have tested positive for the coronavirus so far.

In addition to Transportation Security Administration officers who tested positive after last working at checkpoints on March 7, 9 and 16, another officer who last worked at a checkpoint on March 16 has tested positive.

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Georgia

That screening officer last worked at the main checkpoint on March 16 on a shift from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

According to TSA, the main checkpoint was shut down Thursday night for deep cleaning.

As of Friday morning, Atlanta airport representatives were directing travelers at the domestic terminal to the smaller Terminal North checkpoint.

Passenger counts at Hartsfield-Jackson have declined as much as 85%, according to airport manager John Selden.

The drop in travel has reduced the need to keep multiple security checkpoints operating at the same time in the domestic terminal of the world's busiest airport.

The union that represents TSA officers, the American Federation of Government Employees, had been pushing for increased safety protocols for officers, including the provision of N95 masks for every officer.

The union said Friday that TSA is updating its policy to allow N95 respirator masks for screeners.

TSA told officers that N95 masks will be provided to those who want to wear them and who complete brief training, according to the union.