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New Birth holds Sunday COVID-19 testing for many who may not otherwise get it

The church focused Sunday's efforts on many who lack insurance or who would be unable to afford medical tests to make sure that the tests are available to everyone.

STONECREST, Ga. — Coronavirus testing for anyone - that was the message Sunday at a Dekalb County church where doctors focused on those with Medicaid, Medicare or no insurance at all.

At New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, they're serving many people who may not have otherwise sought testing. Cars lined the parking lot on Sunday at New Birth to get the free testing on Sunday.

"Today is an incredibly critical and pivotal day as the numbers in Georgia are rising related to COVID-19," Pastor Jamal Bryant said.

As coronavirus continues to disproportionately affect metro Atlanta's minority communities, Bryant said testing needs to be done earlier - and what better place to start than the church.

"The church, many times, is looked at as the headquarters for funerals but not the epicenter of life,” Bryant said. “So, people who are not members of our church, or any church really, get to come and say, ‘This is a life-changing station’."

The site consists of multiple stations staffed by medical professionals and volunteers. Those who test positive will be walked through the next steps for treatment.

Officials said that by offering these free services, they ensure that everyone truly has access to testing and medical care.

"Today, we're committed that nobody is turned away," Bryant said.

Results from Sunday's testing should be available within 24 hours.

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