ATLANTA — The Good Samaritan Health Center announced Tuesday it has launched rapid COVID-19 testing, together with CVS Health, on Atlanta’s Westside. Licensed health care providers from MinuteClinic, the retail medical clinic of CVS Health, and CVS Pharmacy colleagues will staff the testing operation.
“Partnering with CVS Health increases access to COVID-19 testing in our community. For many of our patients transportation limitations and lack of access to internet for scheduling has prevented them from receiving testing. CVS Health has worked with us to create a testing site that eliminates these barriers, increasing testing access to those who are at highest risk for COVID-19 and poor outcomes,” said Breanna Lathrop, C.O.O. and Nurse Practitioner, Good Samaritan Health Center.
Testing at Good Samaritan, located at 1015 Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway NW in Atlanta, will be open to the public by appointment at no cost. Patients will need to pre-register in advance by calling 404-523-6571 to schedule a same-day time slot to come to the center for testing. A personal vehicle is not required for testing and results will be provided on-the-spot. To be eligible for testing, patients will need to meet criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in addition to age guidelines.
“Working with partners like Good Samaritan is an important part of our comprehensive strategy to increase access to COVID-19 testing,” said David Casey, chief diversity officer, CVS Health. “This joint effort allows us to tap into the network of a trusted organization with strong community ties to further expand testing in areas of greatest need.”
The CVS Health Foundation, a charitable entity associated with CVS Health, has a longstanding relationship with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, providing more than $9 million over the last six years to help clinics nationwide, like Good Samaritan, to increase access to care for underserved populations.
“The disease has laid bare for all to see the underlying, persistent health disparities in many communities of color. This testing site will offer no-cost, rapid testing for uninsured, underinsured, or undocumented people – which means that it is accessible to those who need it most,” said Congressman John Lewis (D-GA-5). “Additionally, this site should be a tremendous resource to protect the health of all the young people who have taken to the street to speak up and speak out about the injustices our brothers and sisters are confronted with regularly. I applaud the effort of CVS Health and the Good Samaritan Health Center for their work.”
The Good Samaritan Health Center offers medical care, dental care, behavioral health, health education, and healthy living services. Patients pay on a reduced sliding fee scale based on income and household size with the remaining costs provided by donations. At The Good Samaritan Health Center, the entire family receives quality healthcare in an atmosphere of dignity and respect, regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion. The Center on Atlanta’s historic Westside.
“Extending COVID-19 testing to communities most in-need is critical in our fight against this virus,” said U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA). “This joint effort between CVS Health and Good Samaritan Health Center is a significant step in our ability to reach people who may otherwise experience barriers to testing. As we continue to gradually reopen the economy, having access to rapid, reliable testing is as important as ever.”
In addition to offering testing together with several community partners across the country, CVS Health is offering drive-thru testing at 1,000 CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide. More than half of these CVS Pharmacy test sites serve communities with the greatest need for support, as measured by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Social Vulnerability Index. Since first offering COVID-19 testing at a pilot site in mid-March, the company has performed nearly 200,000 tests nationwide. Beginning in June, CVS Health has a goal of processing up to 1.5 million tests per month subject to availability of supplies and lab capacity.