JFK airport
JFK airportiStock

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Saturday temporarily halted all flights to the New York City area and Philadelphia airports, NBC News reported.

The flights were temporarily grounded after an air traffic controller trainee working out of the Ronkonkoma, Long Island, New York Air Route Traffic Control Center tested positive for coronavirus.

The FAA said that the "the trainee has not been at the facility since March 17. We have contacted local health authorities and we are developing a plan to quickly sanitize/clean the affected areas. The center remains open and operational."

"Each facility across the country has a contingency plan that has been recently updated and tested.

"The safety of our staff and the traveling public is the FAA’s top priority."