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LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Three Black Churches In San Diego Become Free COVID-19 Testing Sites

Black faith-based leaders and public health officials met at the Total Delive...

Credit: Univision

Above: Black faith-based leaders and public health officials met at the Total Deliverance Worship Center in National City to announce that three San Diego Black churches will become COVID-19 testing sites through June 30, 2021.

Ahead of Easter Sunday and returning to indoor worship, three new COVID-19 testing sites are coming to Black churches across San Diego.

That’s thanks to the partnership between the county health department and two community groups: The Tabernacle Community Development Corporation and the African American Community Empowerment Council.

Listen to this story by Melissa Mae.

Pastor Judi Wortham is Tabernacle Development’s southern California director for the COVID-19 Testing Program. She says the Black community may be nervous to get tested, but these walkup testing sites welcome all.

Reported by Melissa Mae

“No need to make an appointment,” Wortham declared, “No need to have health insurance. No need to be afraid to get tested at the one place trusted by African-Americans, our Black churches.”

RELATED: In Tuskegee, Painful History Shadows Efforts To Vaccinate African Americans

Church leaders say Black churches are well-positioned to inform the community about the importance of COVID-19 testing and to provide a known, safe space for accessing testing.

Bishop William A. Benson of the Total Deliverance Worship Center is grateful the church is seen as a valuable partner in fighting against COVID-19.

“We have joined with such a marvelous group of professional individuals who are teaching us to rid the paranoias of fear of Doctors and procedures,” Benson said.

RELATED: We’re Learning the Wrong Lessons From the Tuskegee Experiment. That Matters For Vaccinating Black Americans

Community-based testing remains a core strategy to reducing virus transmission and mortality.

Along with the Total Deliverance Worship Center, the Bethel AME Church and the Bayview Baptist Church are also offering free COVID testing.

The program goal is to test 150 individuals daily at each location through June 30th.

RELATED: Stop Blaming Tuskegee, Critics Say. It’s Not An ‘Excuse’ For Current Medical Racism

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