FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) – The Aircraft Operations Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s hurricane hunter base in Lakeland was closed for additional cleaning earlier this month after five employees tested positive for COVID-10.
The employees had last worked in the center between June 3rd and June 8th.
The center was closed June 9th for additional cleaning “out of an abundance of caution,” said spokesman Jonathan Shannon said.
Anyone who was known to have been in contact with the employees has been notified of the test results and those employees have been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Shannon said the base continues to follow the state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for social distancing and working remotely when possible.
The hurricane hunter aircraft are flying with the minimal crew members necessary to conduct missions. The agency has increased cleaning of aircraft before and after flights, and a medical officer is monitoring the health of flight crews and support personnel, he added.
“The health and safety of our employees and partners is our top priority and we will continue to share COVID-19 information and impacts as they become available,” Shannon said.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)