Englewood Barbie

Chicago Community Activist Offering Free Coronavirus Testing On South Side

Anti-violence community activist wants to make sure free testing is accessible in Black and brown communities.

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Aleta Clark wants to make sure Chicago's South Side community has access to free coronavirus testing as the second surge hits before a vaccine is available.

Clark, known to many as the "Englewood Barbie," opened five "safe houses" over the summer to provide groceries and other donated items to those falling on hard times during the pandemic.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage Black and brown communities in Chicago, Clark teamed up with TCA Health to provide free testing at her safe house locations throughout the South Side.

"You could be feeling perfectly fine and be infected," said Clark. "A lot of people don’t take the time to go get tested because there’s a lot of barriers that prevent them from being able to do that."

Black and brown populations are 3 times as likely to die from the coronavirus than white, non-Hispanic individuals, according to the CDC.

“At least they know they are sick and can now take the proper precautions to make sure they’re not infecting anyone else,” said Clark.

A number of volunteers are assisting Clark in running the safe houses, providing groceries, toys, games and free testing.

Friday’s free testing occurred at the Roseland safe house located at 115 95th St. in Chicago.

Clark says she hopes to roll out free coronavirus testing at all safe house locations soon.

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