Two Anchorage-based Alaska Airlines customer service agents have tested positive for the coronavirus, leading to the quarantine of about two dozen colleagues who may have come into close contact with them.
The two agents did not work with the public for the majority of their shifts at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport before they tested positive, according to Alaska Airlines spokesman Tim Thompson. They tested positive separately. Their cases were confirmed by the airline in separate emails to employees last Monday and Friday.
There are about a dozen employees in quarantine for each infected agent, Thompson said. Their job duties mostly include training, looking up flights — office work — but sometimes involve helping passengers at the counter or gate.
State officials on Monday reported Alaska’s highest number of new daily confirmed infections since the pandemic began in March — 141, including 64 seafood industry workers — but no new deaths. One hundred people have been hospitalized with the virus in total.
Alaska Airlines also sent Anchorage ground operations employees an email Sunday implementing a mandatory social distancing policy in light of “increasing concern for the spread of COVID-19.”
Under the policy, which was effective immediately, employees need to maintain 6 feet of distance from each other in work and break areas unless there is “a direct operational need” to be closer to a coworker. The airline already requires masks except while eating or on the ramp outside.