How a church in Algiers gave more than 100 COVID-19 tests without long waits

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Doctors agree that a nationwide testing shortage is only worsening COVID-19’s grip on the United States. But it also spurs community groups to take action. The Baptist Church of Grande Providence in Algiers performed around 200 tests on Tuesday – no appointment necessary. The event marked a welcome offer for people who have wasted days looking for unsuccessful tests. “I thank God for this because it has been so difficult to find tests,” said Casey Turner, a mail carrier who needs a negative test before returning to work. “I was in and out in less than five minutes here. It was perfect.” Pastor Javonte Jimcoily decided to offer testing at his church after his own recent ordeal with long waits and site closures. “These lines are ridiculous,” he said. “We have to do something. I believe it starts here with our own church, so that’s all I want to do. All I want is to be a blessing to somebody.” may follow suit, provided they can acquire enough kits to administer tests. “If they have a supply that they can use and target to their communities, I think that’s a very appropriate and relevant role for them to play,” she said. As for Turner, she expects her results in about two days. It’s nothing, she argues, compared to the peace of mind she feels now – and she wants others to feel it too. “Families would feel more secure,” she said. “I think it wouldn’t be as chaotic as what’s going on right now.” The Greater Providence Baptist Church is planning its next test event for Tuesday, Jan. 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Click here to see a more complete list of locations offering COVID-19 testing in the New Orleans area.

Doctors agree that a nationwide testing shortage is only worsening COVID-19’s grip on the United States. But it is also inspiring community groups to act.

The Baptist Church of Grande Providence in Algiers performed around 200 tests on Tuesday – no appointment necessary. The event marked a welcome offer for people who have wasted days looking for unsuccessful tests.

“I thank God for this because it has been so difficult to find tests,” said Casey Turner, a mail carrier who needs a negative test before returning to work. “I was in and out in less than five minutes here. It was perfect.”

Pastor Javonte Jimcoily has decided to offer testing at his church following his own recent ordeal with long waits and site closures.

“These lines are ridiculous,” he said. “We have to do something. I believe it starts here with our own church, so that’s all I want to do. All I want is to be a blessing to somebody.”

Tulane epidemiologist Dr Susan Hassig hopes more churches and community centers can follow suit, provided they can acquire enough kits to administer the tests.

“If they have a supply that they can use and target to their communities, I think that’s a very appropriate and relevant role for them,” she said.

As for Turner, she expects her results in about two days. It’s nothing, she argues, compared to the peace of mind she feels now – and she wants others to feel it too.

“Families would feel more secure,” she said. “I think it wouldn’t be as chaotic as what’s going on right now.”

Greater Providence Baptist Church is planning its next test event for Tuesday, Jan. 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Click here to see a more complete list of locations offering COVID-19 testing in the New Orleans area.


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