COVID-19 Van Testing Program Rolls Out In SW Oklahoma City


Tuesday, May 19th 2020, 9:49 pm
By: Barry Mangold


OKLAHOMA CITY -

The Oklahoma State Department of Health is taking free COVID-19 tests on the road.

Through a partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield, the OSDH has several vans stationed at the Latino Community Development Agency parking lot in southwest Oklahoma City.

The “Caring Vans” are capable of performing hundreds of tests, all offered for free.

“It's free COVID-19 testing, what’s stopping you?” said Ann Benson, the OSDH Director of Nursing. “Come get tested. Let’s protect your family. Let’s protect your friends, your coworkers.”

The vans will be at the location at South Walker Avenue and Southwest 10th Street between 4 and 7 p.m. through Thursday.

The first area to host the vans was northeastern Oklahoma City, in the district of Democratic Senator George Young. According to OSDH, about 500 people were tested there during the two days the vans were operational.

“That's really a great turnout,” Young said. He added that minority neighborhoods may not be able to travel to state or local health facilities for testing. Those demographics, he said, need to be better represented in the testing pool.

“It may not be convenient for them, it may not be available for them, but if we can get more information from more of those communities, I think we can get a better idea of what's going on,” Young said.

Gov. Kevin Stitt announced the program at a press conference in late April.

An OSDH spokesperson said future locations and schedules have not been finalized yet.