ORLANDO, Fla. - More than 1000 masks and information packets about COVID-19 were distributed in West Orlando Tuesday.
Each packet came with a mask, information on CDC social distancing guidelines, county and state COVID-19 regulations, re-employment resources, and voting restoration information.
Orlando Commissioner Regina Hill partnered with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to make the event happen. The packets were distributed to vulnerable communities in the West Orlando area that have less access to testing.
"We've seen throughout the country that minority communities, particularly African Americans, are dispropotionately impacted. We're trying to do what we can to minimize the devastating impact it has on minority communities," said Desmond Mead, executive director of FRRC. "We're talking about communities who have not been able to receive testing and the attention that they so rightfully deserve."
Residents say getting to free testing centers at the Orange County Convention Center and the University of Central Florida has been a challenge because of transportation. Testing has expanded since those two original sites opened. Mobile testing sites will open at Camping World Stadium and Barnett Park Wednesday and Thursday. However, the sites are limited.
"It is only one day, and there are only 250 slots available," said Commissioner Hill.
Hill hopes more tests come to the area, and also hopes sites will be able to see more people without appointments.
"Dr. Pino [Orange County Health Officer] and myself have been talking and he's trying to find tests and moe creative ways to serve the west side of Orlando, and I am thankful for that," she said, "but I must advocate, more can be done."
Mobile testing sites for the rest of the week include the following:
- Wednesday, April 22, 2020 – Camping World Stadium, 1 Citrus Bowl Place, Orlando, FL 32805
- Thursday, April 23, 2020 – Barnett Park, 4801 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32808
- Friday, April 24, 2020 – West Orange Park, 150 Windermere Road, Winter Garden, FL 34787
Sites require an appointment. Residents can secure an appointment for testing by calling the DOH-Orange’s COVID-19 Call Center at 407-723-5004. The Call Center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day.