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LA County Is Sending Mobile COVID-19 Testing Sites To Latino Churches

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A sign announces free COVID-19 Testing in Boyle Heights. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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L.A. County debuted free mobile COVID-19 testing on Wednesday at the Centro de Vida Victoriosa church in East Los Angeles as part of a partnership between the county and local Latino churches. The parnership aims to address a need for testing in Latino communities that have been devastated by the pandemic.

Pastor Carlos Rincón, a member of the racial equality faith group LA Voice, said doing the testing at the church can make a big difference in participation.

"I personally have seen some neighbors come and tell me, 'Thank you Pastor for having this service. I will do it now because I can trust that I'm safe because it's in the church,'" Rincón said.

Rincón said the impact of the virus is front of mind for his congregation, 90% of whom he said are immigrants from Central America.

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"Even this coming Friday I'm going to do a funeral…of a young man," Rincón said. "He had some issues. He was homeless, kind of back and forth. But he died of coronavirus."

Latinos in Los Angeles have been disproportionately hit by the coronavirus pandemic, dying at three times the rate of white Angelenos.

According to county officials, the mobile testing centers will move every two weeks, and some will be open as late as 8 p.m. The testing is offered to people free of charge, and regardless of immigration or health insurance status.

The centers will also provide information about managing a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

More information on county testing sites can he found here.

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