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4 new COVID-19 cases identified at the Beacon

Four more people have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Beacon of Hope men’s shelter, 1021 First Ave. N., according to its executive director, Steve Roe.

After an initial positive test was reported on Wednesday, Roe feared that additional positives would follow.

“Because of our communal living, we are expecting those numbers to rise fairly rapidly,” Roe said.

Between 20 and 30 men typically live at the shelter.

A mass testing was conducted at the shelter between Thursday and Friday.

Going forward, Roe said the men experiencing symptoms will be tested at Community Health Center of Fort Dodge.

“At this point we will never know if someone is asymptomatic, they will never be tested,” Roe said.

Of the newly identified cases, Roe said all of them were shocked when they found out.

In another instance, Roe said a man went in to be tested because he couldn’t taste anything. That result came back negative. He was tested again four days later and received a positive test.

“I just never know,” Roe said.

The Second Chance Thrift Store, which supports the men’s shelter, will remain open for the time being, Roe said. The thrift store, located at 17 N. 11th St., is a separate building from the shelter.

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