A state lawmaker from St. Louis who’s pushed to expand coronavirus testing plans to host a second testing event on Monday at a mobile site on North Kingshighway Blvd.

State Rep. Steven Roberts, D-St. Louis, (left) and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Office of Minority Health Staff Chief Joe Palm attended the COVID-19 mobile testing event at the Victor Roberts Building in St. Louis on May 4, 2020 (photo courtesy of Representative Roberts’ Capitol office)

State Rep. Steven Roberts, D-St. Louis, worked with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and Affinia Healthcare to establish the mobile test site. It’s located at the Victor Roberts Building, at 1408 North Kingshighway.

The Victor Roberts Building is in the 63113 zip code, which Affinia Healthcare says “is one of the hot spots in St. Louis City.”

A detailed map from the St. Louis City Department of Health shows that there are 152 COVID-19 cases in the 63113 zip code. The only zip code in St. Louis city with more cases is 63116, which now has 164 cases.

Representative Roberts says the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on St. Louis’ African-American community.

“This past Sunday (May 3), St. Louis posted its highest number of new cases for a single day since the outbreak began. Of the residents of the city who have died, 68 percent are African-American. We desperately needed more testing sites accessible in the area where the virus has proven most devastating,” Roberts says, in a statement.

Roberts also cites a recent news article from KMOV-TV. The station reports that while 68 percent of St. Louis City’s COVID-19 deaths are African-Americans, the city’s African-American population is only 46 percent.

Roberts says more than 50 people showed up and received a COVID-19 test last Monday, when the site opened. He describes the Victor Roberts Building as a large site in a centralized location, that makes it easier to provide social distancing.

He emphasizes there is no fee and no referral is needed. Roberts says the aim is to get more St. Louisans tested, which he says is the key to reducing transmission.

Roberts urges residents to get tested, even if they’re asymptomatic.

Because of the success last Monday, Roberts is hosting a second event on Monday from 9 a.m. to noon. He praises the collaboration from DHSS and Affinia Healthcare.

State health officials say there are now 9,844 confirmed coronavirus cases in Missouri, along with 482 deaths. In St. Louis City, there are now 1,484 cases and 85 deaths.

Veteran State Rep. Alan Green, D-Florissant, has also warned that the COVID-19 outbreak is disproportionately impacting African-American communities, “in pockets in north St. Louis County.” Green says black residents in St. Louis City and north St. Louis County are feeling a disproportionate impact of the disease.

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