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Portland nonprofit steps up to help black community disproportionately affected by COVID-19

Self Enhancement, Inc. provided free coronavirus tests to the black community.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Self Enhancement, Inc., a nonprofit that helps the black community, spent Saturday providing a non-symptom testing site for COVID-19.

 "We realize that COVID has been disproportionately impacting the black people in our community and we’ve  seen that all across the country, so we wanted to  push to make sure that black people in our local community had the opportunity to get tested,” said Tony Hopson, president and CEO of SEI.

He added that SEI had to put pressure on local and state leaders in order the make testing happen.

"We've had the ability to get to the powers to be in this case the Governor and the chair of Multnomah County to have those conversations, they heard us and they stepped forward and at this point we're glad to at least to be at this point." 

People who stopped by to get tested were also glad to have the opportunity.

Jackie  Murphy says she tried to get a COVID-19 test before but was turned away because her symptoms were mild.

"To know that this was such an available resource and we could just come get tested without any question, without having all of the symptoms and especially because we know COVID is impacting black and brown communities differently than any other community, we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity and we're thankful that SEI and the county put it together."

Murphy was one 300 people who signed up to get tested Saturday. Results are expected within the next few days . 

Self Enhancement, Inc hopes to host many more of these testings in the community.

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