CHICAGO, Nov. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Together with the New Spiritual Light Missionary Baptist Church and Peer Plus Education and Training Advocates, CVS Health is launching rapid COVID-19 testing at the Chicago Baptist Institute. CVS pharmacists and pharmacy employees will staff the testing operation, which will be available at no cost to patients.
"I applaud the initiative of New Spiritual Light Missionary Baptist Church, Peer Plus Education and Training Advocates, and CVS Health in launching rapid COVID-19 testing at the Chicago Baptist Institute," said Congressman Danny K. Davis. "The partners in this effort have taken the prescription of our health scientists and doctors for more testing and more targeted testing and put it into action. It is precisely through these outreaches that we will be able to suppress the coronavirus until a vaccine becomes widely available next year."
Testing at the Chicago Baptist Institute, located at 5120 S. King Drive in Chicago, will be open to the public by appointment. Patients will need to pre-register in advance by calling 844-826-2838 to schedule a time slot to come to the center for testing.
"As we work to increase access to COVID-19 testing, a critical part of our strategy is increasing access for underserved communities," said Dr. Garth Graham, Vice President, Community Health and Chief Community Health Officer, CVS Health. "Working with partners like the New Spiritual Light Missionary Baptist Church and Peer Plus allows us to tap into the network of these trusted community organizations to further expand testing in areas of greatest need."
A personal vehicle is not required for testing and results will be provided on-the-spot. To be eligible for testing, patients will need to meet criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in addition to age guidelines.
"This virus is killing Black Chicagoans at an alarming rate, which is largely due to the lack of access to critical resources," said State Senator Mattie Hunter. "Making testing more readily available will help Black communities combat these disparities, as well as the dangers of COVID-19. I hope to see more of these kinds of partnerships emerge."
"We appreciate this free resource for protecting our community against the spread of the coronavirus on the South Side," said state Rep. Lamont J. Robinson, whose 5th House District includes the testing site. "Testing, as well as social distancing and wearing a mask, remain the best way to defeat the disease. I urge residents to take advantage of the free testing and thank all of those who are making it possible."
In addition to offering testing together with several community partners across the country, CVS Health is offering drive-thru testing at more than 4,000 CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide. More than half of the CVS Pharmacy test sites serve communities with a significant need for support, as measured by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Social Vulnerability Index.
"We are extremely thankful for the partnership with CVS Health, their staff, along with Peer Plus, as we bring about a proactive approach, in helping to meet the needs of our communities," said Pastor Walter Turner of the New Spiritual Light Missionary Baptist Church. "At a time when we are dying the most, but are being tested the least, this program will allow us to serve our communities, when at most times they are the most neglected."
More information on steps CVS Health has taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic is available at the company's frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.
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SOURCE CVS Health