As coronavirus hits black communities hard, state teams up with Lurie to ramp up testing on South and West sides

Maddox

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Dec 11, 2018
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Responding to the outsize number of infections and deaths from the new coronavirus in African American communities, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday laid out plans to ramp up testing on Chicago’s South and West sides, in the south suburbs and near St. Louis.


“The data accumulating over the last few weeks has shined a bright light on what seems like a uniquely American problem," Pritzker said at his daily news conference. “Many could have told you what it would highlight long before the data drew the picture. Generations of systemic disadvantages in health care delivery and in health care access in communities of color, and in black communities in particular, are now amplified in this crisis.”

Starting next week, four health centers serving low-income and uninsured people on the South and West sides — Lawndale Christian Health Center, PCC Community Wellness Center, Chicago Family Health Center and Friend Family Health Center — will be collecting an additional 400 swabs daily from potential COVID-19 patients.

The samples will be sent to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital for testing. Three health centers near St. Louis will do an additional 470 tests per day in partnership with Anderson Hospital in Maryville.

In addition to the increased testing at health centers, the state early next week will be opening a new drive-up testing facility in the south suburban Markham-Harvey area, which will collect “hundreds of specimens per day,” Pritzker said. The governor’s office said plans are still being finalized, so the exact location has not been announced.


 
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