COVID tests, flu shots garner long lines at West End location

COVID tests, flu shots garner long lines at West End location

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - There are lots of positives coming out of Pfizer and Moderna’s announcements of a vaccine. However, doctors say not to let your guard down.

Getting tested for COVID and maintaining protocols is still vital to stopping the spread.

UofL frontline employees went out to Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in the Park Duvall neighborhood Saturday, seeking to vaccinate people with flu shots while getting their COVID test.

The people who went to Saturday’s pop-up testing site say they’re grateful for it because the community is in dire need of testing.

Cars filed into a line, inside those vehicles, are people who are mothers, fathers, grandparents, cousins, someone’s loved one; like Arlene Elliot and her husband.

The couple said the cases and mortality rates are more than just a number.

“We’ve lost so many friends and family to COVID, it’s really frightening, really frightening,” Elliot said.

Since COVID-19 sent the country into a lockdown, a lot of people have experience the same loss as the Elliot family.

Elliot says she and her husband are always on the search for places to get tested and close to home.

“I hate to say it, but we’re older now,” Elliot said. “We have children and grandchildren. We try not to spend too much time around them, something they don’t care for, but we have to realize the seriousness of COVID.”

Doctors say the rate of COVID-19 cases among Black and minority communities are significantly higher. The possible reasons are transportation isn’t always readily available and getting to a testing site is harder.

Army Veteran Jo Ann Orr works heavily in the community and social services organizations. She calls herself the ‘community employee.’

Orr said seeing a pop-up site come to the Park Duvall neighborhood means more to the community and the people who live in it than just a positive or negative test result.

“You need a better reason than ‘you’re more susceptible than most people’ than to get out here,” Orr said. “Not just to make sure your safe, but the people around you safe. That’s the main thing.”

Mitchell Eddings harbors the same feelings, he’s lived in the neighborhood his whole life.

Eddings said he was one of the first cars in line on Saturday morning to get his first ever COVID test.

“It’s really a strong [good] feeling, when I pulled up and saw the tents set up,” Eddings said. “I thank the healthcare workers for doing this, they don’t have to do this, it really puts a bright spot on the area.”

During times of hardship, Ashia Powell, Community Outreach at Immaculate Heart of Mary, said people find their faith when they’re in fear.

Therefore, she set out to bring people to a place they consider a haven for the neighborhood to be a community.

“People identify with churches, they know this is a Catholic church, and maybe they’ll think, ‘oh if they’re doing this, then maybe its not so bad,’ Powell said. “A lot of people, the fear is a big thing, if we can provide calmness and area of support.”

Organizers plan to coordinate another pop-up testing site after the Christmas holiday, around the turn of the new year.

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