Urban League and People’s Health Centers Fight COVID | Local News

Recognizing that the battle against COVID is far from over, the Metropolitan St. Louis Urban League and Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health Centers will continue to offer free COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.

Services will now be offered by appointment from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at two Betty Jean Kerr centers: 11642 West Florissant Avenue in Florissant and 5701 Delmar Boulevard in St. Louis.

Despite the decline in new infections, African American communities still have a higher rate of infections and continued vigilance, testing and vaccinations are needed to protect vulnerable communities.

“COVID-19 is still very much in our community, especially the African-American community,” said James Clark, vice president of Urban League’s Public Safety and Community Response Division.

“We can’t let go and we’re proud to continue our community-based immunization and testing efforts with a trusted community partner like People’s Health Centers.”

According to Clark, his division provided more than 200,000 vaccinations during the pandemic and helped St. Louis expand mobile testing operations during the latest COVID-19 surge.

In addition to vaccines, the Division has distributed more than 4 million masks in the community and to various organizations, including schools, hair and beauty salons and Metro.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disproportionately impact black and brown communities in St. Louis, People’s is excited to work with Urban League to provide much-needed COVID-19 awareness, education and vaccinations. to these vulnerable communities,” said Dwayne Butler. , CEO of Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health Centers.

“It is too early to lower our guard against this obvious threat.”

For more information and to make an appointment, call 314-484-5467.

Additionally, the Urban League will add 20 Community Health Navigators as partners in the agency’s fight against the pandemic.

“The pandemic may be waning, but the effects are still being felt in the African American community which has been disproportionately affected,” Clark said.

“We need to get the guns fired and help families access the other resources available to them through the Urban League.”

Health Navigators are funded through a partnership between the National Urban League and the US Health Resources and Services Administration to help Urban League affiliates in six cities build confidence in vaccines and strengthen COVID vaccination -19.

“A lesson we’ve learned through the COVID-19 pandemic is that trusted voices within communities, such as our affiliate presidents and CEOs, are the best way to overcome vaccine hesitancy, fight disinformation and connect people with health care providers,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said in a statement.

“With support from HRSA, our affiliates can expand their reach by hiring a local community health navigator workforce to help keep our communities informed, safe and healthy.”

The National Urban League received $11.125 million to recruit, hire, train and support community health navigators in St. Louis, Knoxville, Tennessee, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Houston and Mississippi State.

On Monday, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced that COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in the United States for 2020 and 2021.

According to a CDC report, in 2020 more than 350,000 deaths were directly due to the coronavirus, rising to more than 415,000 last year. Including deaths for which COVID was a contributing factor but not the direct cause, the 2021 total jumps to more than 460,000.

Deaths from COVID were most common among older men. With respect to race and ethnicity, death rates were higher among non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaska Natives and Blacks or African Americans.

The overall age-adjusted death rate increased by 0.7% from 2020 to 2021, with heart disease and cancer remaining the two leading causes, with 693,000 and 605,000 deaths respectively in 2021.

A The Indiana University Observatory study on social media also confirmed previous findings that linked multiple factors to COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. The researchers said hesitation rates in the United States were highest among three groups: African Americans, women and conservatives.

Maria J. Book