Multicultural News

Indianapolis Urban League holds first COVID-19 test distribution

INDIANPOLIS (WISH) — The Urban League made getting access to a COVID-19 test much easier for roughly 2,500 Hoosiers on Tuesday.

The organization held its first COVID test distribution in conjunction with its weekly food distribution, saying it improves COVID testing access for people who would otherwise go without.

Urban League representative say the turn out for the COVID-19 test distribution was overwhelming. They hadn’t seen that many cars show up for the food distribution services since they first started at the beginning of the pandemic.

“I think it’s very helpful that we get the COVID test because we don’t have to go out too much,” said test recipient Paula said.

There were 2,500 tests to give. With omicron variant cases rising, and low vaccinations rates it’s still not quite enough, but it’s a start.

“It’s good to have in the community,” test recipient Demetria Horton said. “For the food drive and the COVID tests, we all need it.”

For 84 weeks — almost the entire length of the pandemic — Urban League CEO Tony Mason says the organization’s been on a mission to help. Half of the 1,000 people who have utilized the food distribution service are children.

“[It] just lets you know that families are still struggling in Indianapolis and in central Indiana,” Mason said.

COVID-19 test distribution is a logical next step.

“We know that with the shortage of tests across the community, that it has created challenges and it’s created a challenge at a time when we’ve seen positivity rates skyrocket,” Mason said.

Making services accessible has has fueled the work, stationed in the center of this community along Indiana Avenue. Many are able to drive, but others walk here.

“I think that it is super awesome, the fact that they are able to have all of these COVID tests and food available for people who need it,” test recicipent Julius Harris said. “It’s just a really good opportunity.”