Las Vegas airport tower reopens after closure for virus

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Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau

This is the view from McCarran International Airport’s new air traffic control tower Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016.

Wed, Mar 25, 2020 (10:46 a.m.)

Air traffic controllers are back at work at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, a week after a co-worker tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The Federal Aviation Administration posted an update Wednesday saying that staffing should increase throughout the day.

Airport service slowed due to airline cancellations and delays were reported after the control tower closure on March 18.

Arriving flights were reduced Monday to about 12 an hour, according to the FAA. That was a fraction of the usual frequency of 30 to 56 flights per hour that the airport can reach at peak times. McCarran ranks as one of the busiest passenger airports in the nation.

Federal officials reported Tuesday that a security screener at McCarran tested positive for the COVID-19 respiratory illness after working a morning shift March 12 at a checkpoint in Terminal 3, and that co-workers were alerted.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

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