Cincinnati adds five new free COVID-19 testing sites

Mayor Pureval working to expand COVID-19 testing
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 9:36 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2022 at 8:56 AM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Free COVID-19 testing will expand in the city of Cincinnati thanks to a new partnership with community groups, the mayor and health commissioner announced Thursday.

The expansion of COVID-19 testing will occur “at various locations throughout the city” starting this month and continue in February, Mayor Aftab Pureval said.

It will be done “with racial equity at the very center,” the mayor said.

The partnership providing this involves the Center for Closing the Health Gap, the African American Chamber of Commerce, Corinthian Baptist Church, New Prospect Baptist Church, Truth and Destiny Church, and Urban League of Southwest Ohio, according to a city news release.

Here are the testing dates and locations announced so far:

  • African American Chamber of Commerce, 2302 Gilbert Ave. #100
    • Mondays weekly until further notice with exceptions noted below
    • Monday, Jan. 10, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Monday, Jan. 17, closed due to MLK holiday
    • Thursday, Jan. 20, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Monday, Jan. 24 & Jan. 31, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Corinthian Baptist Church, 1920 Tennessee Ave.
    • Mondays weekly until further notice with exceptions below
    • Monday, Jan. 10, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Monday, Jan. 17, closed due to MLK holiday
    • Wednesday, Jan. 19, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Monday, Jan. 24 & Jan. 31, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • New Prospect Baptist Church, 1580 Summit Rd.
    • Tuesdays & Wednesdays weekly until further notice
    • Tuesday, Jan. 11, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Wednesday, Jan. 12, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Truth & Destiny Church, 2645 W. North Bend Rd
    • Thursdays weekly until further notice
    • Thursday, Jan. 13, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Urban League of Greater Southwest Ohio, 3458 Reading Rd.
    • Fridays weekly until further notice
    • Friday, Jan. 14, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The omicron variant has been fueling a surge of COVID-19 cases locally, statewide and nationally.

The city shattered a record Saturday for new COVID-19 cases, according to the mayor.

On Thursday, the city “hit the ceiling again” with 999 cases, said Cincinnati Health Commissioner Melba Moore.

“We have 160 people hospitalized. Ninety-five percent of those cases are unvaccinated,” she said. “Our hospitals are saying ‘hey, let’s get vaccinated, let’s get boostered.’ It’s very serious.”

In one of his final acts as mayor last week, John Cranley declared a state of emergency for Cincinnati.

City leaders became concerned about staffing shortages in the fire department due to quarantines and holiday vacations amid retirements and injuries.

The 60-day emergency order permits the city to impose mandatory overtime for firefighters and cancel vacations as well as “all action necessary to protect the public peace.”

City Manager Paula Boggs Muething said Thursday the state of emergency remains active.

City employees who are not vaccinated continue to be tested bi-weekly.

She said they would test weekly if they could, but there are not enough tests available to do that.

Mayor Pureval said he planned to reconvene the city’s COVID-19 response task force Cranley launched in 2020.

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