Virus Outbreak Pennsylvania Daily Life

Dr. Ala Stanford, left, assisted by medical student Tal Lee, prepares to administer a COVID-19 swab test on a person in the parking lot of Pinn Memorial Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Stanford and other doctors formed the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium to offer testing and help address heath disparities in the African American community. — AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Mayor Jim Kenney said Wednesday that city officials are working with “minority folks” who want to make coronavirus testing more widely available in Black and brown communities.

“We have been working with the Black Doctors Consortium since we were made aware of their presence — with [providing] PPE, with help being able to bill for the services for the test, and I think, some nonprofit status help,” Kenney said.

The coronavirus has hit Black and brown communities hard, and community leaders have called for more testing of Black and brown people. Congressman Dwight Evans recently called for mandatory testing in the African-American community.

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Armed with the City’s revised budget, Managing Director Brian Abernathy said officials expect to use all $85 million the City Council appropriated for coronavirus response and relief.

“We certainly recognize that this would impact our Black and brown communities,” Abernathy said. “We’re doing everything we can to reach those communities. That is exactly why [health commissioner] Dr. [Thomas] Farley has expanded testing as broadly as he has, and continues to find other ways to reach out for testing.”

Contact staff writer Kimberly C. Roberts at (215) 893-5753 or kroberts@phillytrib.com

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