Christ Community Health Services hosts free COVID-19 testing for Hispanic, Latino community

Briseida Holguin

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -Christ Community Health Services held a free testing site in Hickory Hill specifically for the Hispanic and Latino community.

Shantelle Leatherwood,CEO of Christ Community Health Services, says she wants everyone to know thetesting areas are a safe place and no citizenship questions will be asked.

"This is a place of refuge, a place of hope instead of fear,” said Leatherwood.

Leatherwood continues to say that is a message the Hispanic and Latino community needs to hear.

During Wednesday’s free testing people did not have to be experiencing any symptoms to be tested.

“The reason why we chose Hickory Hill is because as we have expanded to Hickory Hill, we’ve seen a high rate of positivity in this area, and we wanted to specifically target Hispanic individuals in this area,” said Leatherwood.

According to the Shelby County Health Department, Hispanics and Latinos make up less than 10% of COVID-19 cases. Leatherwood believes there is fear among this population when it comes to testing.

Shelby County Health Department Chart of COVID-19 Cases in Shelby County by Race as of 5/4/2020 (Source: WMC)

"I think there is a fear that individuals maybe reported especially because they have to be contacted by the health department for contact tracing, and so we want them to know through this process no one is going to be turned in.”

Another concern Leatherwood says she's aware of is food.

"We have partnered with the Neighborhood Christian Center to make sure that individuals who did test positive or are quarantined will have a supply of food,”

Christ Community will continue to have these testing sites available. To preregister, text “TEST2020” to 91999.

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