AFGE TSA Council Calls for Comprehensive COVID-19 Response Plan at Airports – Not Just Temperature Checks

Categories: TSA, The Insider, Coronavirus

As the Transportation Security Administration is reportedly looking to start checking temperatures at airports to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the AFGE TSA Council 100 is voicing concerns over the measure’s effectiveness due to the possibility of asymptomatic transmission and safety of TSA officers conducting the screenings.  

The council said TSOs have stepped up to ensure the safety of airline travelers for nearly two decades and will continue to do so. If it is decided that additional screening measures are to be imposed, the employees will do their jobs. 

“But we do not believe temperature checks alone are sufficient and should only be implemented as a part of a comprehensive, science-driven plan to ensure that passengers do not continue through the checkpoint if they are contagious,” the council said.  

The council added that temperature screenings should happen only if the following conditions are met and important questions answered: 

  1. Proper training on use of equipment will be necessary 
  2. More extensive personal protective equipment must be in regular supply, including full face shields 
  3. There must be a determination as to how a passenger will be handled if they register a fever. Will there be a secondary screening? Who will conduct it? Under what circumstances will they be turned away and who will inform them they may not continue through security? That person could possibly be a supervisory TSO or a law enforcement officer stationed at the checkpoint, but under no circumstances should that person be a non-supervisory TSO. 
  4. Any such decision must be a part of implementing a comprehensive, science-driven plan to ensure that passengers do not continue through the airport if they are contagious. This may include rapid-testing availability and cannot be determined by temperature check alone. 

For more information about AFGE’s response to COVID-19, visit www.afge.org/coronavirus


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