COVID-19 in Philly: City officials say they’re working with minority leaders on testing

Dr. Ala Stanford, Founder of the Consortium and Imam Mikal Shabazz, resident Imam of Masjidullah are pictured here at the testing (Photo via The Philadelphia Tribune)

By Kimberly C. Roberts

PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Jim Kenney says 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.

Pa. Rep. Dwight Evans calls for targeted coronavirus testing efforts in African American communities

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.”

Kimberly C. Roberts is a reporter for the Philadelphia Tribune, where this story first appeared