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IRC and CORE ramp up testing in Clarkston in partnership with DCBOH

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After a successful pilot COVID-19 testing weekend at the end of May, with more than 360 community members tested, the IRC in Atlanta and CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) are pleased to be partnering once again to bring mass mobile COVID-19 testing and contact tracing—with language interpretation—to Clarkston and DeKalb County.

A man wearing an N-9 respirator mask and black medical gloves stands in front of a large truck with the IRC logo which reads "International Rescue Committee" and the phrase "From Harm to Home" on the side.

The IRC’s Omar Aziz is managing the DeKalb testing project and working with the community to identify potential testers and interpreters.

Photo: IRC Atlanta

In partnership with DeKalb County Board of Health (DCBOH), the IRC-CORE mobile testing sites will rotate between Clarkston apartment complexes throughout the month of September and into the fall, with the capacity to test 1,500 individuals at each three-day site, using self-administered nasal swab tests. The sites will be staffed by trained members of the refugee community—many of whom have previous medical experience—and interpretation will be available in more than 15 languages. The IRC’s Omar Aziz—a trained medical professional and dentist in his native Iraq—is managing the DeKalb testing project and working with the community to identify potential testers and interpreters. “Luxury is being healthy, not being wealthy. IRC is here to make this happen! Stay blessed, stay safe, and we look forward to welcoming you to our Clarkston testing sites,” Omar shared.

Available Languages: Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, English, French, Karen, Kinyarwanda, Lingala, Malay, Nepali, Oromo, Portuguese, Rohingya, Spanish, Swahili, Tigrinya, Zulu

With more dates and locations soon to be added, the first confirmed Clarkston mobile testing sites are:

Thursday, Sep 10, Friday, Sep 11 and Saturday, Sep 12 | The Lakes at Indian Creek Apartments, 751 N Indian Creek Dr, Clarkston, GA 30021

Thursday, Sep 17, Friday, Sep 18 and Sunday, Sep 19 | English Oaks Apartments, 4133 Church St, Clarkston, GA 30021

Thursday, Sep 24, Friday, Sep 25 and Sunday, Sep 26 | Parc 1000 Apartments, 1000 Montreal Rd E, Clarkston, GA 30021

Please share this Facebook post and this Instagram post and help us spread the word about the upcoming testing dates/locations! You can also download testing flyers here.

"We've seen the COVID cases per capita in Clarkston exceed DeKalb County's average, so we know that we have work to do to ensure the community members we serve have access to free testing,” said the IRC in Atlanta’s Deputy Director, Justin Howell. “Our first weekend of testing showed that the CORE-IRC partnership—which focuses on ensuring that those staffing the testing sites reflect the community itself, so the services are linguistically and culturally competent—does reach community members that the traditional medical community may not reach as effectively. This mobile testing along with contact tracing is critical for ensuring community members are aware of their status and take the necessary steps to keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe and healthy. Together, we will crush this virus."

Founded by actor Sean Penn and Ann Lee, CORE is working with local organizations across Georgia to provide much-needed access to COVID-19 testing. The IRC in Atlanta is grateful for our partnership with CORE, DCBOH and Clarkston apartment complexes and we are looking forward to increasing access to COVID-19 testing and contact tracing for the entire Clarkston community and surrounding DeKalb County neighborhoods.

To learn more about the work of the IRC in Atlanta and for information on how you can get involved with the IRC as a donor or volunteer, please contact Development Director, Marian Dickson, at Marian.Dickson [at] Rescue.org or 601-310-3174.

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