DeSantis said 260 airport employees tested positive for COVID-19. MCO says that's not true


  • Screenshot via Ron DeSantis/Twitter

Let's get one thing straight right up top. Out of the 500 COVID-19 tests administered over three days last week to workers at the Orlando International Airport, only two showed positive results for the virus.

Not 260 workers. Two.

The confusion stemmed from remarks made by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, where he stated on Tuesday that an "airport in Central Florida had a couple of cases, they did the contact tracing. They looked over almost 500 workers, 260 people working close together were positive, 52 percent positivity rate on that one."

This led to local headlines like this one at WMKG: "260 workers test positive for COVID-19 at Orlando International Airport."

MCO took to Twitter Wednesday morning with a "clarification," saying, "We want to clarify that the number of cases recently shared with the media is the total number of cases confirmed at our airport since mid-March through June."

"Five hundred COVID-19 tests were performed over three days by the Florida Department of Health at Orlando International Airport last week," wrote the airport. "Of those tests, only two were positive."

The airport says the 260 confirmed cases include 132 airport employees out of more than 25,000 who work there. The other 128 cases, says the airport, are not employees, "but have traceable connections to our employees."

Florida reported an additional 2,610 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, and the state's death toll now tops 3,000. Ahead of DeSantis' press conference, the state reported new record of 2,783 new cases on Tuesday.

DeSantis said earlier this month that around 30,000 COVID-19 test results are coming back each day, and the Florida Department of Health reports 5.5 percent of those who take a COVID-19 test receive positive results.

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