JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- More fallout from the local tuberculosis crisis after the CDC revealed Duval County has the country's biggest TB outbreak in 20 years. Since 2004, nearly 100 cases and 13 deaths have been reported in the area, most within the homeless population.
Inside the Clara White Mission downtown, folks work hard to make sure Jacksonville's homeless don't go hungry. It's a big job and they need a lot of help.
"We could not get everything done that we do if its not for our volunteers," said Housing Case Manager Ken Covington.
Covington says ever since reports have come out Jacksonville's homeless could be carrying TB in record numbers, those volunteers are too afraid to report for duty.
"There have been a few who have not shown up," he said. "And there have been a number of others who have called."
While he understands their concern, he says Clara White and other missions in town are taking every precaution possible.
"Cases that would be of any concern would be identified and those people would be quarantined immediately. So there's not a real fear of you sitting around with people who would actually be a real threat to you."
The Duval County Health Department is working to test the homeless population. But Covington fears if the problem isn't contained soon, they won't have the help needed to keep these doors open.
"That's utmost in our minds to make sure that our volunteers that come here to help us deliver services are going to be safe and this is a safe environment for them."
Covington says the health department was at the mission Wednesday morning testing folks as they waited in line for breakfast. He says a few people tested positive and were sent on for additional test but so far no extreme cases have been found.