These federal workers were exposed to the coronavirus while serving the public. Now they’re quarantined.
When Alexander Spain, a supervisor with the Transportation Security Administration, was told Tuesday to self-quarantine and not report to work at San Jose International Airport, he was not surprised.A screener he supervises, who checks IDs and boarding passes, had been sick for weeks and then tested positive for the coronavirus. Spain, 58, was told to remain at home but said he was given no instructions for how to self-quarantine. So Spain said he “went out to grab food twice. I stopped at a Chinese food restaurant and got some quick bites from 7-Eleven.”On Thursday, the day he was scheduled to return to work, Spain called his supervisors in the morning, asking how to get tested for the virus. “They acted like I was speaking French,” he said in an interview.Spain’s experience mirrors what federal workers across the country who deal with the public are saying about the lack of direction, protocols and protective gear they need from their agencies. They fear these failures may cause them to become ill and spread the virus not only in the United States but across the globe.The federal government has hundreds of thousands of workers who come in daily contact with the public —