COVID-19 testing event serves nearly 150 people

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

PELHAM – A free COVID-19 testing event put on by Community of Hope Health Clinic on Tuesday, July 28, provided free testing to nearly 150 people in the community.

Community of Hope partnered with the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, UAB, Alabama Health Education Centers and the Alabama Department of Public Health to put on the event at Mi Pueblo Supermarket, which was targeted specifically toward helping the Hispanic community, but open to anyone who needed testing.

“I was hoping to get 100 tests done by the end of the event,” said Justin Johnston, Community of Hope Executive Director. “When we finished we had done 143, which surpassed all of our expectations. Of those, 93 were from Shelby County, specifically from Pelham and Alabaster.”

Johnston said that the success of the event has the group looking at putting on another event Aug. 11, as well as eyeing other locations around the county to serve different residents who may not be able to make the drive to Pelham.

“We’re just excited to be able to offer this service to the community. Specifically to the Hispanic community, who has been underserved,” Johnston said. “Hopefully the demand shows that people want to be tested.”

The group came to the event with an inventory of 150 tests, and ended up using 143. Johnston said they would have used the final seven but the weather caused them to end a little early. However, the people who were able to get tested were very grateful for the opportunity.

“We had a lot of people who were happy about being able to do it,” he explained. “The good news is that even when our line was at the longest, with about 40 cars in line, the wait was about an hour, so we were very efficient.”

For more information about future testing events or services provided by Community of Hope visit Communityofhope.com.