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In this Wednesday, March 11, 2020 file photo, a technician prepares COVID-19 coronavirus patient samples for testing at a laboratory in New York's Long Island. Wide scale testing is a critical part of tracking and containing infectious diseases. But the U.S. effort has been plagued by a series of missteps, including accuracy problems with the test kits the CDC sent to other labs and bureaucratic hurdles that slowed the entrance of large, private sector labs. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

South Florida

CBP agent at Miami International Airport tests positive for COVID-19 virus

According to the Miami Herald, travelers who may have interacted with the agent have not been informed of the test.

An agent with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) who works at Miami International Airport has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, according to a report from the Miami Herald.

According to the outlet, CBP informed the Miami-Dade County Aviation Department about the positive test Monday. However, CBP declined to answer specifics regarding the case, instead sending a boilerplate statement to the Herald.

“CBP’s highest priority is to ensure the health, safety, and security of the American people and our workforce,” the statement reads.

“CBP has issued guidance to all our employees that outlines the current comprehensive use of personal protective equipment. We are taking every precaution to keep our workforce safe.”

Those CBP agents are placed at the airport to screen travelers going through customs.

The Herald also cites two federal sources noting that coworkers of that CBP agent had been notified. But travelers who visited the airport and may have interacted with the agent have not yet been informed of the positive test.

As of a Tuesday morning update, Miami-Dade County led the state with 338 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. Broward County, located just to the north of Miami-Dade has 311 positive tests so far.

International travel hubs — such as MIA — were always at risk of contributing to the virus’s spread as travelers arrived from other countries hit by the virus first. For instance, multiple COVID-19 cases inside Broward county have been linked to Port Everglades, where many cruise ships dock.

Though the death rate in the U.S. has hovered slightly above 1%, it’s been higher elsewhere. And if hospitals are overwhelmed with cases, that could inhibit doctors’ ability to treat patients and send that death rate upward.

Most who do show symptoms develop a fever or cough and may have trouble breathing, though they do recover. But older individuals and those with underlying health risks are susceptible to developing more severe symptoms.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

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