Two new COVID-19 assessment sites have been set up in the communities of East Preston and Cherry Brook as of Wednesday.
These two sites now join North Preston who have had their testing site set up for just over a week.
Since the North Preston site was established, about 300 COVID-19 tests have been completed.
Now, the goal is to test 1,000 people in all of these communities over the next five to 10 days.That’s according to Nzingha Millar, spokesperson for the Preston Community Covid-19 Response Team.
“We’re just trying to get the message out there whatever way we can that there are supports there, and we want to bridge people to those supports,” Millar says.
She says these historically Black and African Nova Scotian communities were unfortunately labelled as hotspots, when they’re really areas of concern.
“An area of concern really tells it like it is. We’re concerned about these communities because of their vulnerability.”
Historic racism, socioeconomic inequality, and isolation are all contributing factors, according to Millar. She says there are also wonderful things about these communities that could put them at risk, such as the unique way these communities are distributed, and close-knit families.
“You’ve got communities of people that are living on a street where their aunt and uncles and cousins all live in the same area, so if one person is affected by COVID-19, then the likelihood that it could spread to other family members is a lot higher,” says Millar.
People are welcome to call the toll-free hotline put up the Nova Scotian Association of Black Social Workers with questions about COVID-19 testing or general support at 1-855-732-1253.
COVID-19 Assessment Centres (call to book an appointment):-North Preston Community Centre, open 9am-7:30pm - 902-943-6698
-East Preston Community Centre, open 9am-7:30pm - 902-943-7126
-Graham Creighton Junior High School in Cherry Brook/Lake Loon, open 9am-7:30pm - 902-943-6649