Lafayette healthcare center plans to offer COVID-19 testing within communities predominately African American

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) Experts are saying that the Coronavirus is having a deadly impact on people of color. 

In Louisiana, African Americans reportedly make up roughly 70% of COVID-19 deaths.

The Southwest Louisiana Primary Healthcare Center has four facilities, and the Northside Community Health Center is one of them.

Chief Executive Officer Dodie Lamott says the pandemic sheds light on a health crisis familiar to the uninsured and under-served.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, African Americans ages 18 to 49 are two times as likely to die from heart disease and African Americans ages 35 to 64 are 50 percent more like to have high blood pressure.

“‘We got to offer more we got to offer more to our community because certainly this has impacted us in a way that no one has every expected,” Lamott stated.

She says she’s working with other agencies to step foot inside communities and conduct covid 19 testing. She adds that supplies will be essential.

“We cannot go low on supplies.  Going low on supplies; that’s a barrier.  We can’t reach out like we want.”

Medical Director Dr. Leone Elliott agrees that on the ground outreach will get the message to the people who need it most.  “Thankfully we have a mobile until that’s well equipped to provide services so we are going to go into communities with that mobile unit,” Dr. Elliott said.

Dr. Elliott says the neighborhood testing will also have to fall in line with social distancing. 

“We are going to have to get them as to what time we will be there and what we are doing exactly and conduct some sort of testing in a way that people are still socially distancing themselves; and where to park.  There are some logistics for that to happen for that to be successful,” Dr. Elliott noted.

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