Alabama program providing COVID-19 tests for rural communities

Alabama News

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 27: A medical worker shows the process for rapid coronavirus testing on the new Abbott ID Now machine at a ProHEALTH center in Brooklyn on August 27, 2020 in New York City. The portable Abbott ID Now uses a nasal swab to detect acute and infectious cases of COVID-19. ProHEALTH is offering the new service, which can deliver a test result in a s little as 15 minutes, at its centers in the tri-state area. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabama Statewide AHEC program is doing its part to make sure communities in rural and undeserved areas are provided the opportunity to take COVID-19 tests where supplies are low.

This is a statewide response by the Alabama Statewide AHEC Program (Area Health Education Centers). Using its five regional centers as a model for outreach, Alabama AHEC is working to develop localized COVID-19 coalitions with community leaders and health professionals to assist in the implementation of a cohesive testing model, and to train community health workers within rural communities.

New partners with Alabama AHEC are the Alabama Department of Public Health, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Alabama Civil Air Patrol and other local leadership and community organizations as rural and underserved hot spot regions are identified across the state.

Alabama AHEC has focused on underserved populations with a higher incidence of COVID-19-related illnesses, particularly in Hispanic and African American populations within communities where the access to care is limited.

These testing initiatives would not be possible without the support of UAB, which provides the testing kits and evaluates the samples, and the Civil Air Patrol, which secures and delivers the test kits to, and the samples from, the test sites. Equally essential to the initiative are AHEC’s local health professions partners, who administer and ensure the viability of the tests at each site.


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