A wave of Denver homeless have tested positive for COVID-19, also spreading the virus to homeless shelter staff, Fox News reported.
Denver conducted health screenings at two large shelters and reported at least 170 of the 203 positives among area homeless, according to a city spokesperson.
"We're not able to test the hundreds of people that could be asymptomatic," Colorado Coalition for the Homeless Communications VP Cathy Alderman told Fox News on Saturday. "And we know that one in three people in many shelter systems across the country is carrying this virus, but not showing any symptoms."
The spread of the virus in homeless populations is alarming because it can widely infect not only people living in close quarters in shelters but also wherever they may go in cities. Further, homeless rarely have access to healthcare or testing, and often have co-morbidity health conditions.
Those factors all point to serious complications amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
And, ultimately, anyone in contact with them – many unlikely to adhere to social distancing and mask-wearing recommendations – will be at risk of being infected.
"This is the nature of the work that we're doing right now," Denver Rescue Mission's Brad Meuli said, per the report. "We're very much at risk."
Denver City Council is voting Monday on giving $1.9 million and 140 hotel rooms to homeless. Similarly, California has 15,000 hotel rooms to shelter homeless.
"We're trying to move people out of these congregate settings that are high risk," Alderman told Fox News. "So I think that is a really smart strategy to prevent spread and extreme health complications among those high-risk individuals that could overwhelm the hospital system."
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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