Ala. Wing Assists With COVID-19 Test Transport
Capt. Cindy Collette
Public Affairs Officer
The Alabama Wing is transporting COVID-19 testing kits to underserved rural communities in Alabama.
Kits were flown July 28 to Pelham for focused testing on the local Hispanic community. The transport mission had begun June 22, when 100 kits were transported by air and ground from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center to Hale County. After testing was performed June 23, the wing returned the kits to UAB Medical Center.
The testing reflects a partnership of the Alabama Wing, UAB and its Infectious Disease Laboratory, Alabama Emergency Management Agency, Alabama Area Health Education Centers, Hale County Emergency Medical Service and Emergency Management Agency, the state Department of Health and a pair of nonprofits, the Community of Hope and the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama’s Sawyerville Project.
“It’s a good thing for us to be able to give back to the Hispanic community in particular because they are such a huge part of our clientele,” said Justin Johnston, Community of Hope executive director. Johnston praised the Alabama Wing for being “able to facilitate us being able to get these samples where we need them in a timely fashion so we can make sure we can let our patients know that they didn’t waste their time coming out here.”
COVID-19 testing is only beginning for rural counties in Alabama, with plans underway to bring kits to several other locations throughout the state. Testing in Choctaw County and additional testing in Pelham are scheduled for this week.
Acting as a Total Force partner and the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, Civil Air Patrol helps First Air Force rapidly respond to nonmilitary threats domestically in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance.