North Carolina Central University rolled out its mobile COVID-19 testing station under clear blue skies in Morven, N.C., Oct. 3, providing tests to 67 individuals who otherwise have limited access to medical services.
The work was done through NCCU’s Advanced Center for COVID-19 Related Disparities (ACCORD) and Health Equity, Environment and Population Health (HOPE) program of the Julius L. Chambers Biomedical Biotechnology Research Institute.
Morven is in rural Anson County near the South Carolina border with a population of about 500, three-quarters of whom are African American. Nearly 90% of those who came to get tested Saturday were African Americans, site officials said.
“Our local community facilitator, Dannie Montgomery, did a brilliant job in organizing the day and recruiting participants,” said William Pilkington, DPA, director of the HOPE program. “Local community residents helped with directing traffic and setting up the event, and Morven middle school and high school students acted as welcoming greeters.”
Several NCCU faculty and staff from various departments assisted at the event.
Through the ACCORD program, NCCU is providing COVID-19 testing to communities of color in nine North Carolina counties and has so far tested over 1,400 individuals at 17 sites. The goal is to administer 2,000 tests in these areas.
The testing program was developed to address the lack of available and accessible COVID-19 testing for minority populations who have suffered disproportionately during this pandemic.
“Through community testing in underserved areas and several research projects, ACCORD is making important contributions in managing and understanding COVID-19 in underserved communities of NC,” said Laverne Reid, interim dean of the College of Heath and Sciences .