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Free coronavirus testing offered Thursday in Riviera Beach

$50,000 provided to help undertested communities
Posted at 4:20 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 18:51:18-04

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — More than 100 people in Riviera Beach received free testing for the coronavirus Thursday.

It occurred outside of Jay Outreach and Ministry located at 2815 Broadway Ave.

“It’s perfect. It’s right here in the city that well needed it,” said Chrystal Archer, who received a COVID-19 test. "We couldn’t get tested earlier on, so once we heard about this, we signed up."

Archer who is a diabetic, says her doctor recommend she get tested. However, she says, location, costs and availability made it more difficult to get tested.

Chief Medical Officer at Foundcare Dr. Oneka Marriott says it’s a fact she’s noticed while working on the front lines of this pandemic.

“We were out on Tuesday at the Dunbar community, and we tested over 134 people. We know that without that support and without that opportunity, a lot of the minority community would not be able to be tested,” said Marriott.

Dr. Oneka Marriott
Dr. Oneka Marriott

That support is coming from community partnerships. The Quantum Foundation was able to provide Foundcare Health Center with $50,000 to help undertested communities.

Riviera Beach Mayor Ronnie Felder says he jumped on the opportunity after seeing residents in his city struggle to get tested. Minorities make up 70 percent of Riviera Beach’s population.

Riviera Beach Mayor Ronnie Felder
Riviera Beach Mayor Ronnie Felder

“What we want to do is make sure we jump ahead of the curve and be more proactive and intentional about making sure we can get tests," said Felder.

The mayor estimates they will be able to test around 140 people Thursday. Archer is hoping her neighbors will get the same opportunity.

“Considering in our community it’s diabetes and other health issues in our community, this is great. This is close," said Archer.