Gov. Newsom announces 86 new sites to get COVID-19 testing in California’s vulnerable neighborhoods

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — While Gov. Gavin Newsom did not reveal any new numbers regarding racial disparities during his latest briefing to the state about COVID-19, what he did have to say Wednesday addressed a concern from civil rights advocates.

The NAACP branch in Sacramento has been pushing for mobile COVID-19 testing to come to some of the city’s most vulnerable neighborhoods. 

That request is based on state data showing African Americans are dying from the disease at a rate double of their representation in the population.

Referring to “testing deserts,” Gov. Newsom said specifically that black and brown communities will be a focus as the state continues to respond to the virus.

“One of the other vexing and frustrating things is getting into our urban centers and making sure that we’re getting into black and brown communities, and doing justice to people that are also underserved, even in these remarkably enriched and robust and well-resourced communities,” Newsom said. “And so today, we are announcing 86 new sites that will become operational that are focused, from a socio-economic lens, focusing on black and brown communities and focusing on rural communities.”

Rural and remote communities will get some of the new testing centers as well.

Verily, which runs the drive-thru testing site at Cal Expo in Sacramento, will operate six of what the governor is calling “pop-up sites.” Another company, OptumServe, will be responsible for 80 of them.

There is still no word on when or exactly where those sites will open.

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