By Kimberly Davis

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As coronavirus cases climb in the city and beyond, one group that has been on the forefront since the start of the pandemic is retaking action. The Black Doctors Consortium is making sure minority groups know there are resources available to them.

Sadly, these COVID-19 cases aren’t looking better. In fact, they’re getting worse.

Many Black and brown people still don’t have access to testing, but there’s one group that’s on a mission to change that.

The streets of Philadelphia are still bustling. Eyewitness News even found a boy dancing to keep his mind off the pandemic. But as some are feeling the beat, others are feeling the symptoms of COVID-19 as cases continue to skyrocket across the country.

“The last week has been hell for me and for my staff,” Dr. Ala Stanford said.

Stanford is a pediatric surgeon and found of the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium.

The group’s goal is to test as many people as possible, especially Black residents who are dying at much higher rates than any other ethnic group.

“The access to testing, it’s the barriers that even on Nov. 13 still exist for folks to get tested,” Stanford said.

So far they’ve tested more than 14,000 people. Stanford explained why it’s been so difficult for people to actually get tested.

“Some of it has changed but some of it hasn’t. You need a state-issued ID, you need to have health insurance in many places, you need a referral from your doctor, you need to actively be showing symptoms,” Stanford said.

But the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium doesn’t require any of that, just a name and way to contact you.

“I named it Black Doctors because I wanted them to know that they were going to see a health care provider that looked like them and had some cultural competence,” Stanford said.

Though the name was intentional, they test all races. And while they continue to test, they’re reminding everyone that the pandemic is only temporary.

“Continue to be optimistic that brighter days are coming,” Stanford said.

If you are in need of a COVID-19 test, click here to see testing locations.


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Kimberly Davis