This past week at CrossOver was our first week offering community testing for COVID-19. Through funding from the City of Richmond, CrossOver is now scheduling free COVID-19 testing for persons ages 3 and up regardless of symptoms. Persons do not need to be CrossOver patients to make an appointment for testing.

Our increase in testing capability is an important part of our response to some of the health disparities on view in the COVID-19 crisis. As the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported last month, Black and Latinx communities are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. As of June 12, the Virginia Department of Health reported that “Although Latinx people make up 10 percent of the state’s population, they account for 45 percent of the COVID-19 cases, 35 percent of the hospitalizations and 11 percent of the deaths. Factors such as access to health care, poverty, geography, occupation and racism drive these disparities.”

We see these disparities confirmed at CrossOver as well. Our patient population is approximately 50% Hispanic/Latinx (while Hispanic/Latinx persons make up 6% of Henrico County, 7% of Richmond City, 10% of Virginia, and 19% of the US populations). While Henrico has a positive test rate of 15% and Richmond has a positive test rate of 25%, CrossOver’s patients have a positive test rate of about 40%.

Our testing events allow us to broaden and deepen our response to this disparity and the need of the Latinx community in our area. At these in-person events, in addition to testing, we can provide education on COVID-19 prevention and mitigation, helping to decrease virus spread. We can also introduce folks who are not current CrossOver patients to the care CrossOver can provide for them and their families, which helps us to serve more of our neighbors in need.

You can help us spread the word about these testing events by sharing our posts on Facebook (English and Spanish) and Twitter (English and Spanish). And please consider making a donation to support this important work. Thank you for helping us serve our community!