Update: No, 260 Orlando Airport Employees Didn’t Test Positive For Coronavirus All At Once

Filed Under: Misc.

Update: In the meantime, it has been clarified that 260 airport employees didn’t actually all test positive for coronavirus at once, despite Florida’s governor claiming that was the case. This clarification came after I wrote my initial post.

The airport has now clarified that there have been a total of 260 confirmed cases among airport employees and traceable connections to airport employees since mid-March, which is obviously a very different story. During the most recent test of 500 airport employees, only two tested positive.

I’ll leave the original post up rather than deleting it altogether so that hopefully this false news isn’t spread further.

Florida is continuing to see the number of cases of coronavirus grow, as the state reported 2,780 new cases on Tuesday, which is the most cases reported in the state in a single day since the pandemic started.

Florida has been testing over 30,000 people per day for the month of June, and on average 5.5% of those people have tested positive. Generally, more testing would lead to a lower percentage of those people getting tested having the virus, but in Florida, it has actually gone up in recent weeks.

With this, Florida has more than 80,100 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, with 2,993 people having died from coronavirus.

However, perhaps the most shocking statistic is what happened at Orlando Airport — 260 workers at Orlando International Airport have tested positive for coronavirus, after nearly 500 employees were tested.

In other words, over half of the employees tested had coronavirus, which is an alarming rate. The reason for testing so many employees was due to contact tracing, as employees working in close proximity were all tested after there was one positive test result.

It’s not known exactly what functions these airport employees had.

As Florida Governor Ron DeSantis describes this:

“[An] Airport in Central Florida had a couple of cases, they did the contract tracing. They looked [at] almost 500 workers [and] 260 people working close together were positive, 52 percent positivity rate on that one.”

All of this comes as Orlando is already welcoming back tourists, with Universal Orlando already open, and Disney World expected to start a phased reopening as of July 11, 2020.

  1. “ The reason for testing so many employees was due to contact pricing…”

    I think you meant to type contact tracing

  2. lol I saw that too, Mangoceviche! I think he meant contact tracing.
    I hope you and your family are ok there in FL, Lucky. Stay safe.

  3. Several interesting anecdotes in that linked article.

    “there have been more COVID-19 related fatalities over the age of 90 than under the age of 65.”

    “ Eighty-six percent of COVID-19 related deaths in Florida have occurred in the age group of 65 and older” (ie 419 people under 65 have died in FL, a state of 21 million people)

  4. Florida’s desperate excuses and manipulation of statistics are going to backfire in a tragic way.

  5. @panda

    The lockdowns were tragic and already backfired. Not only were the most vulnerable people not adequately protected, resulting in myriad preventable deaths, people who didn’t need to be locked down were forced to do so, resulting in countless lives and livelihoods destroyed.

  6. @ben – The COVID-19 positive rate for Florida isn’t 5.5%, but rather 9.1% — meaning 9.1% of individuals tested have tested positive for COVID-19.


    It is reduced to 5.5% when you add in antibody tests (since, well, they’re tests) *and* you count total tests, not total people. So if a person has tested negative 3 times, they count as 3. Florida (and other states) are using deceptive “counting” to make their numbers look lower and therefore be able to reopen quicker without backlash.

  7. That is the reason the US needs a new president. When governors only do things what will please the moron instead of doing the right thing is sad very sad.

  8. Phil Brown, the CEO of GOAA (Greater Orlando Aviation Authority) was all over this false statement by FL Governor DeSantis. There were only 2 new cases for all the airport workers last week. Thank you for updating your story, Ben. DeSantis is trying desperately to deflect from the spike in the total number of new cases in Florida. Yesterday here in Brevard County, we had the highest number of new daily cases since COVID-19 statistics started. I just got back from 10 days in New Mexico, and everyone was serious about wearing their masks out there. And then I get back to Florida and I’m the only one wearing a mask.

    By the way, Ben, do you know that Delta is blocking 50% of the First Class cabin, so you are not sitting next to someone. However, you will only get a bottle of water in a clear plastic bag with a biscotti and almonds. NO alcoholic drinks. United does not block First Class seats, so you will be sitting next to someone, but you get a choice of Snack Boxes and beer and wine. Interesting difference in how Delta and United are approaching things.

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