The Dean’s Corner: Equal Access to COVID testing

The Dean’s Corner
Equal Access to COVID testing

Last fall, more than two thousand members of the wider community – from CSU students to civic leaders to diocesan clergy – came to Trinity to experience the Undesign the Redline exhibit and to learn the story of systemic and legal housing discrimination. We learned how neighborhoods in Cleveland and the suburbs were shaped intentionally to promote lasting segregation, and we saw how the legacy of those practices continue to impact health and economic outcomes today.

This week, Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC) identified a “redlining” practice that is occurring right now: pharmacies that provide COVID-19 testing in Cleveland suburbs do not, with the exception of a single pharmacy, provide testing within the city itself. That means that neighborhoods that are particularly impacted by COVID-19, where residents are primarily people of color, lack equal access to vital health interventions that could slow the spread of the disease.

In response, GCC has rolled out its Color of Health initiative, partnering with 17 Cleveland congregations who will offer free testing sites to residents in their neighborhoods. GCC also calls upon pharmacies to make testing available throughout the city, while also offering appreciation for those pharmacies’ continued presence in neighborhoods that need them.

Trinity is a proud member of GCC, and as a congregation whose membership is largely suburban, it’s important for us to know this is happening.

 

The Very Rev. Bernard J Owens