It took 10 days -- TEN DAYS -- but finally, the United Airlines passenger who hovered over a dying, COVID-infected man for 45 minutes administering CPR has been contacted that he was exposed to the virus.
Tony Aldapa tells TMZ, he got a call late Thursday from the L.A. County Dept. of Public Health ... informing him what we've been telling and showing for a week -- that the passenger he was trying to save had the virus and died shortly after the plane made an emergency landing.
It's a scary case of buck-passing. Despite the fact the COVID-positive man had lost his sense of taste and smell and had trouble breathing -- something his wife blurted out during the in-flight emergency -- United did not notify any of the passengers they might have been exposed.
A United spokesperson told us it wasn't their job to notify passengers. Instead, the airline gave its flight manifest to the CDC, telling us that agency would contact passengers.
Then the CDC told us they were passing the information along to local health officials. Finally, 10 days after exposure ... Tony was notified.
Tony, an EMT, had some COVID-like symptoms but tested negative and is feeling better.
Here's the scariest part ... the COVID-positive passenger flew with 178 other passengers, some of whom may have been going home for the Christmas holidays, yet none of them got a timely heads up so they could take steps to protect their friends and family.