The number of Transportation Security Administration workers who have tested positive for coronavirus since the start of the pandemic just topped 10,000, according to new data from the agency.
TSA Administrator David Pekoske, in an exclusive interview with CNN, said the virus has had a “very significant impact” on its workforce.
“We did just about everything that we could think of that the CDC recommended, but 10,000 is a big number,” Pekoske said. “I think five is a big number to be infected.”
TSA numbers show more than four in every five employees who tested positive work at airport security checkpoints, which have screened more than a half billion people in the last 18 months.
“Tragically, 26 have lost their lives after contracting this disease,” said an agency-wide memo shared with CNN. “It is time for all of us to get vaccinated.
Of the 65% of TSA workers who have responded to an agency-wide vaccination status survey, 72% said they are fully vaccinated. Workers have until Oct. 1 to respond to the survey. TSA has not said how it will handle workers who receive an exemption from the Nov. 22 deadline for all federal workers to get vaccinated.