NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Amid this latest surge in COVID-19 cases, Black clergy members across Connecticut are coming together to try and stem the tide.

Nearly two years into the coronavirus pandemic, communities of color are still ravaged by the virus.

“The Black church has always been on the forefront of serving the community,” Pastor Steve Cousins of Bethel AME Church in New Haven said.

It’s why clergy members are on a soul-saving mission of a different kind. “Fighting fear with faith and facts” was the theme of Friday’s zoom conference.

“This is so important to make sure that everyone has equal access to resources, and everyone has a chance to get tested,” Cousins said.

The state’s department of public health is doing its part to accomplish that goal. By Friday night, it will have distributed 3.1 million test kits across the state of Connecticut.

”That is very close to a test kit per person, and that number is going to continue to grow,” Paul Mounds Jr., the governor’s chief of staff said.

As of Friday, the state’s daily COVID-19 positivity rate dropped below 20%, but despite that alarming figure, some communities of color still shy away from the vaccine. For some, it’s a fear steeped in history that state officials are working to ease.

“Since April of last year, we have been bringing these mobile vans throughout the entire state, but also we’re not leaving the kids behind,” David Reyes said. “We’re bringing it to the schools. We’re working with the superintendents. We are vaccinating [kids ages] 5 to 11. We’re doing boosters. We’re working with universities and colleges, you name it.”

Members of the clergy said they would continue to fight fear of COVID-19 and all its variants with faith and facts.