The City of Oakland announced Monday a partnership with Allen Temple Baptist Church and the emergency relief nonprofit organization Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE) to open a new COVID-19 community-based testing site (CBTS) in East Oakland.
This site will also use the Baseline COVID-19 Program platform by Verily, an Alphabet company. Testing will be provided free of charge Monday through Saturday, 1pm to 7pm. Health insurance is not required.
If you work outside the home or are worried you might have COVID-19, get a test. The City has now partnered in three sites where residents can receive free testing:
- Allen Temple, 8501 International Boulevard
- Roots Community Health Center, 9925 International Boulevard
- Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center parking lot, 10 Tenth Street
Hours of operation and other details vary by site. Residents can contact OAK311 with questions about testing at City-partnered sites. For information dial 311 (or 510-615-5566) or go online to www.oaklandca.gov/testing.
Appointments can be made using Verily’s Baseline COVID-19 Program, available at www.projectbaseline.com/COVID19. Persons need only create an online account, schedule an appointment and bring their ID to their appointment. The Baseline COVID-19 Program is a secure connected solution to support individuals from screening through testing and receipt of their test results, which is done under physician direction.
COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting Oakland’s black and brown communities. COVID-19 death rates among black Alameda County residents are double those among any other group, according to recent County data. The number of cases (infection rate) in the Latino community is 3 times higher than for white people in Alameda County, according to recent County data.
“Our mission is to end the injustice of health disparities,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said. “Every Oaklander should have access to a free COVID-19 test today, and we will continue to work intentionally to reach our most underserved communities. I want to thank all of our fiercely devoted community partners who brought this service to the heart of Deep East Oakland, as well as our trusted messengers who will deliver it to our residents.”
“As a proud member of Allen Temple Baptist Church since 1984, I want to commend Pastor Thompson and the church for continuing its mission of empowerment and public service in East Oakland,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13). “We are facing the worst health and economic crisis of our lifetimes. But for many, this crisis is nothing new. COVID-19 is shining a light on longstanding disparities caused by the crises of poverty, inadequate access to health care, environmental injustice, systemic racism and generations of inequality. This testing site, and the other sites in East Oakland, are a necessary step to slow the spread of the virus. They’re also a step toward justice for a community that has born the worst burdens of this crisis.”
“East Oakland is disproportionately harmed by the impacts of COVID-19, and I want my community to know we see that harm and we are prioritizing East Oakland for testing locations,” said Councilmember Larry Reid, who represents the East Oakland district in which Allen Temple is located. “Services must be prioritized in communities feeling the most impact, and we’ll continue working to address the needs of this community.”
“The opening of this second testing site in Deep East Oakland continues our City’s commitment to make testing available to the communities with the greatest need - higher infection rates and worse outcomes for those who end up being infected,” said Councilmember Loren Taylor, who represents the neighboring East Oakland district. “Partnering with Allen Temple only made sense given the church’s over 100 years as a beacon of hope, health, social justice, and community empowerment in East Oakland.”
“Given the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black and Brown communities nationally and locally, it is an ethical and moral imperative that access to testing be made available in these traditionally underserved communities,” Allen Temple Pastor Jacqueline Thompson said. “Allen Temple Baptist Church has a long history of serving God by serving the people of God, particularly those that are often overlooked. We look forward to the opportunity to work with our city, county and nonprofit partners to meet this critical need in East Oakland.
“It is vital to provide access to free COVID-19 testing to all communities, but particularly communities of color who are being affected disproportionately by this pandemic," said CORE Co-Founder Sean Penn. "To do this effectively, we take a community-centric approach and look to bring on local volunteers and prioritize local hires."
"We are grateful that we can make this possible through the support of the Rockefeller Foundation and our partnership with the Governor’s Office, the City of Oakland and community organizations such as Allen Temple,” said CORE Co-Founder and CEO Ann Lee.
“Ensuring access to testing throughout the county, particularly among communities most affected by COVID-19, is essential for curbing the spread of the virus and for addressing health inequities,” said Alameda County Health Care Services Agency Director Colleen Chawla. “Partnerships like this one reflect the innovative spirit of our cities and faith based organizations, and are critical for building the testing infrastructure we need to manage this pandemic in the long run.”
There are additional test sites available to Oaklanders, in which the City is not an active partner. Alameda County Public Health Department maintains an ongoing list of all sites within the county, available online at http://www.acphd.org/2019-ncov/testing.aspx.
COVID-19 cases are still rising, and we need to stay vigilant. As a community we must continue to stay home unless it’s for essential business, cover our faces when out in public, wash our hands often, stay 6 feet apart, and avoid group gatherings. Oakland, together we can #beatcovid19!
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