The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed five coronavirus cases among staff members at the Lakeland, Fla., base for its famed “Hurricane Hunter” research aircraft.
The cases raise the possibility that one of the country’s vital early-warning systems could be hobbled during what is already an unusually active hurricane season. Florida is among the states seeing an uptick in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, possibly related to their early efforts to reopen businesses. On Tuesday, the state tallied its highest to date single-day count of new cases, at 2,783, according to data tracked by The Washington Post. The five positive tests came back Friday, according to a statement from NOAA spokesman Jonathan Shannon. The sick personnel were last in the facility between June 3 and 8. The base at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport houses the planes NOAA uses to fly into and around the planet’s strongest storms.