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WVU in the News: Black-lung coal miners facing serious threat from virus spread

The biggest labor union for U.S. coal miners is warning that members are at “significant risk” from the rapidly spreading coronavirus.

Mines are enclosed spaces where the highly contagious virus can easily spread, said Phil Smith, a spokesman for the United Mine Workers of America. The trade group is developing guidelines that it plans to issue to members soon, he said by email Thursday.

Old age adds another risk factor for the Covid-19 virus, said Anna Allen, a West Virginia doctor who cares for black lung patients. While there are no reported cases in West Virginia, the virus has been spreading quickly across the U.S.

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