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Officials: Virus cases at Utah homeless shelter reach 72

September 26, 2020 GMT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — An outbreak at a Utah homeless shelter has resulted in 72 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, officials reported.

The rapid increase in cases at the Gail Miller Resource Center in Salt Lake City coincides with a rise in cases in the state as a whole. Utah reported 1,404 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, up from 306 new confirmed cases on Sept. 8.

There are currently 93 confirmed cases in Salt Lake City-area homeless shelters, officials said.

Homeless people are thought to be more vulnerable to contracting the coronavirus than the general population because those who live in encampments typically have limited access to hygienic services and find themselves in cramped rooms packed with dozens of others, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

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The number of infections is thought to be far higher overall because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

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.

In other developments:

— The Navajo Nation, which sprawls across Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, reported 26 new coronavirus cases and one death related to the virus. The huge reservation has had 552 deaths from the coronavirus and 10,237 cases.