Lifespan Community Health Institute’s targeted COVID-19 testing in the community
Lifespan is currently providing COVID-19 mobile testing opportunities that target high-risk populations including persons with disabilities, the elderly, and Black and Latinx individuals. The Lifespan Community Health Institute is leading this effort, and providing the mobile testing opportunities in partnership with community organizations including : the Providence Housing Authority, the Central Falls Housing Authority, Bethel AME church, Elmwood Avenue Church of God, Center for Southeast Asians, Islamic Center of RI, the West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation (a RIDOH-funded Health Equity Zone), Higher Ground International, and the RI Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
This testing effort is specifically designed to reach individuals who show signs of possible COVID infection, and who may otherwise have difficulty in accessing rapid testing.
To date, the Lifespan Community Health Institute has conducted 13 mobile COVID-19 testing events that have reached 790 individuals.
Lifespan is processing the COVID-19 tests — provided by the RI DOH — at its own laboratory and is covering the cost of testing for individuals who do not have insurance. The Lifespan Community Health Institute is providing wrap-around services to individuals who are found to test positive for COVID-19; these resources include:
- Food: A box of food to facilitate beginning quarantine immediately. Since June, we have distributed 520 boxes of food that we secured through partnerships with the RI Food Bank and Providence’s Healthy Communities Office. For persons in need of food, grocery delivery, or support from mutual aid groups, we refer to RIDelivers: http://ridelivers.com
- PPE: Lifespan has distributed 4,000 masks that were donated to us from United HealthCare.
- Cleaning: Lifespan refers families that need cleaning/household safety supplies to Family Services of Rhode Island for a Be Safe Kit.
- Employment: For COVID-19 information and employment questions, we refer to the Department of Labor and Training at 401-234-4280, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Health care: We also recommend that COVID+ patients contact their primary care provider, if they have one, to share their test results and make a connection for symptom monitoring. If the person doesn’t have a PCP, we offer to help them find care at a health center or free clinic.
- Other: For persons who seem to need more support than a referral or initial supply of food, we offer enrollment in our Connect for Health program, which provides unlimited referral and navigation support for health-related social needs. In addition, United Way can provide other social supports; reach United Way by dialing 2-1-1, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Upcoming Lifespan Community Health Institute’s COVID-19 mobile testing opportunities that are open to the public, are scheduled as follows:
- Thursday, 8/27 (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) for symptomatic individuals
Higher Ground International – 250 Prairie Avenue, Providence
- Monday, 8/31 (3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.) for symptomatic individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
335 Prairie Avenue, Providence
Asymptomatic individuals in search of COVID testing can find options on the RIDOH website (portal.ri.gov) or by calling the RIDOH at 401-222-8022.