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More COVID-19 Testing Coming to Mississippi Delta
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There will be more testing in the Mississippi Delta this week.

Community health centers in the Mississippi Delta are working to increase testing for the Coronavirus for people with or without symptoms. As MPB’s Alexandra Watts reports they’re hoping to prevent those who have the virus and don’t know it from spreading it.

Delta Health Center and Community Health Center Association of Mississippi are working together to provide free drive-thru testing in the Mississippi Delta — an area where many have pre-existing conditions but lack access to healthcare.

Testing is for everyone — no matter their age, health or the type of symptoms they are having. And they don’t have to be screened first.

Dr. John Fairman is with the Delta Health Center. He says testing can identify those without symptoms who still have COVID-19 — and could spread the virus without knowing it.

"We think it is our moral responsibility to do what we can to help those persons who are spreading it unknowingly realize that they have it and they can take proactive measures to protect their own life, as well as that of their friends, neighbors and coworkers and loved ones," Dr. Fairman said.

The first one-day testing site was held in Bolivar County last week. Another one is scheduled for thisThursday.

According to the state health department more African Americans are contracting the Coronavirus. Bolivar County has a large African American population and higher rates of COVID0-19.

That concerns State Representative Abe Hudson Jr. He represents Bolivar and Sunflower counties. Hudson says identifying those at risk can keep rural hospitals from being overwhelmed with cases.

“We don’t have the healthcare. We can ramp up as fast as some of our counterparts. In my opinion, our hope is to make sure that we mitigate on the front end. That is why it's so important for us to continue the testing that we've done and to double and triple up on it.”

Thursday’s one day testing site will be held in Cleveland across from the Delta Health Center in a vacant lot from 8 a.m. to to 3:30 p.m.