Vulnerable populations in Marion and Monongalia counties targeted for testing

(WDTV) -- On Friday and Saturday, three separate sites in Marion and Monongalia Counties will be holding free Coronavirus testing from 9 AM-4 PM. The goal is to target vulnerable populations, such as the African American population. Romelia Hodges said that this is a vital step in the fight against the Coronavirus.

“The most important thing that you can do in this moment, in this pandemic, is to get tested, and to do your part." Hodges said. "I look at it as a civic duty.”

Hodges spent roughly seven hours Wednesday passing out this flier to promote those in the community to get their tests, which will take place at Windmill Park in Fairmont.

African-Americans make up only 3% of Marion County’s population, but half of its Coronavirus cases. Also, all of those who died from COVID-19 in Marion County were African-American.

In Monongalia County, there are three separate testing sites.

While Monongalia County has three separate testing sites for Friday and Saturday, the location outside of Big Lots is only open on Friday, and the WVU Coliseum, as well as at Mountain View Elementary School, will only be open on Saturday.

Monongalia County Health Officer Dr. Lee Smith said that these tests are a stepping stone to ensure all residents are tested.

“We are hoping that this is not a one-and-done," Dr. Smith said "[and] that this is an opportunity to build some bridges and that we have further opportunity to do testing because we know we’re not going to get everybody in one day.”