Nonprofit offers money to churches for pop-up COVID testing sites in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods

Coronavirus

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — Half a dozen churches including Mount Aery Baptist Church are working with Optimus Health Care to provide COVID-19 testing in Bridgeport.

“Just because you think you are not sick or just because you don’t think you have all the symptoms, don’t think that you are not a carrier,” said Senator Marilyn Moore.

She said minority residents living in densely populated areas where the virus spreads are at risk.
Bridgeport has one of the highest rates of COVID-19 cases statewide.

According to state data, as of Friday, June 26, Bridgeport has a total of 3,643 confirmed and probable cases and 152 deaths related to COVID-19.

Statewide, there are 46,059 cases and 4,307 associated deaths.

Mayor Joe Ganim, who got tested on Friday, said the city is making strides.

“I’m happy to report, as of this week, we’ve had the largest decline for active cases,” he said.

Optimus Health Care received an $800,000 federal grant for testing. 4-CT, a local nonprofit, is kicking in a $500 grant for each church that hosts a pop-up testing site.

The state weekly goal is to test 100,000 people. The average has been less than half. Mount Aery Baptist Church tested 300 people in two weeks.

“No questions asked; no, you don’t need a symptom,” Governor Ned Lamont said. “Please come to get tested.”

“All faith-based institutions, as they return to their faith practices, will have the resources so people can feel safe as they enter into their sanctuaries,” pastor Anthony Bennett added

COVID-19 testing at pop-up sites in Bridgeport will continue through the summer. To find a location near you dial 211.

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