Employees for the Transportation Security Administration, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines at Los Angeles International Airport have all been affected as an outbreak of COVID-19 has hit LAX.
There have been at least 400 cases of the virus confirmed by county officials emanating from LAX, according to the Los Angeles Times, including 233 TSA workers.
The outbreak, which was first detected on June 9, is currently the largest active outbreak being monitored by Los Angeles County Health officials, the Times noted. That said, TSA officials told the newspaper that they refute the report.
“Our infection rate for LAX is being inaccurately reported by about seven times higher than we are currently seeing in our operation,” a TSA official said.
When asked, the TSA declined to provide more accurate numbers regarding the outbreak.
A spokesperson for American Airlines more or less confirmed by the Times report, although he said the carrier’s 154 infections coming out of Los Angeles International were from May 6, more than a month earlier than the reported June 9 date. Those 154 positive tests represent just two percent of the 7,000 employees at LAX.
“The safety of our customers and team members is our top priority,” the airline said in a statement. “We have been in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Los Angeles County Public Health officials throughout the pandemic and will continue to coordinate with them on all required health and safety-related measures.”
Southwest Airlines declined to comment; an LAX spokesperson said the airport is running at normal operations.