City officials push to add mobile testing sites in north St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS – While coronavirus testing sites continue to pop up across the Metro Area, there are concerns about the limited access to testing in north St. Louis.

The president of the board of aldermen has requested to set up a site north of Delmar.

A spokesperson for the mayor’s office says they have already been pushing for two weeks or more to get mobile testing sites both in north city and south city.

Both representatives from the mayor’s office and the board of aldermen said they are aware north city has been deemed a healthcare desert long before this virus began to spread.

There is a proposed site that would be centrally located in north St. Louis.

In the Metro Area, drive-thru testing sites are quickly getting into motion. Mercy Hospital opened one in Chesterfield and BJC opened one in the Cortex District.   

“Part of what they’re missing here in the City of St. Louis is having a testing site north of Delmar,” said Lewis Reed, President of the Board of Alderman.  

North of Delmar, the African-American population is most concentrated at 94%.

“I’ve gotten an unbelievable amount of calls saying I’m seeing but there’s nothing in my neighborhood and community. 

Lewis sent a letter to Mayor Lyda Krewson requesting a site be set up on Kingshighway Boulevard. It’s right in the middle of North City and would alleviate a lack of access to healthcare or transportation.

“We did a healthcare disparity study years ago, and it showed massive healthcare disparities,” said Lewis.   

The site would be federally funded.

“It’s important that we have his testing readily available for people of all income levels, and everybody deserves equal access to testing. 

The facilities testing for COVID-19 in north city are Affinia Healthcare and Family Care Health, who are currently only testing existing patients.

LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics are also doing private testing.

The mobile collection sites are set up as a partnership with a federally qualified healthcare entity.      

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