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Community gears up as more COVID-19 testing comes to west Louisville

The testing comes as one-third of those who died in Louisville have been African-American, which represents 23 percent of the city's population.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky is still behind when it comes to testing with fewer than one percent of Kentuckians having received a test for the novel coronavirus.

Governor Andy Beshear says now anybody who wants a test can get one with Kroger Health offering drive-through testing starting Monday at Shawnee Park in Louisville.

Louisville Urban League President and CEO Sadiqa Reynolds says the location of the site, in Louisville's predominantly African-American West End, will help a community that has traditionally been under served.

"We want to make sure no one feels any stigma. There's nothing bad about you if you contract this virus. It's just something that happens,” she said. "Historically there has really been a lack of investment in these areas and so we can't expect these folks to be able to travel across town in order to get a test."

Around the country, communities of color have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus.

In Louisville, Mayor Greg Fischer announced this week around a third of the people who have died have been black, yet African-Americans represent only 23 percent of Louisville's population.

Reynolds says there are many factors, including underlying health issues and jobs don't allow people to work from home.

"Black people are over-represented in these lower income jobs and in these lower level jobs that we haven't thought of as essential. So think about waste management and who's picking up the trash," she said.

Reynolds says these initiatives to bring testing to these communities are a small step in the right direction, not only in helping Louisville's African-American community, but all communities in the fight against the disease.

"I think we have to create for ourselves this new normal where we understand how connected we are and that I am so invested in your being well because it's in my interest too."

►Contact reporter Dennis Ting at dting@whas11.com. Follow him on Twitter (@DennisJTing) and Facebook.  

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