ROCHESTER, Minn. – Saturday community organizations joined together in downtown Rochester to offer free COVID-19 testing in an effort to make testing more available to underserved communities.
Zepto Life Technology, a medical device developer based in St. Paul, provided the free nasal swab self test.
Hannah Zhang with Zepto Life says, “When we do get the support from local community leaders, we are able to come out here with all of the amazing volunteers to spread the word and bring that testing closer to people.”
This event was a local effort to get people to feel more comfortable and encourage the Asain community to come out.
The organization is working with Asian Media Access to help spread word and bring testing closer to people.
They are a non-profit agency supporting Asian-American and Pacific Islanders in Minnesota focusing on emergency COVID-19 relief.
They aim to assist communities where English isn’t the first language and testing isn’t available.
Ange Hwange with Asian Media Access says, “We really hope this is a good opportunity so that people feel this is a community together, Asians come to support our Asian fellows, and the language they feel comfortable with.”
Those participating in today’s drive-thru event were also given Asian-style food to take home.
Alka Mehra, General Secretary of Indian Cultural Association Minnesota, says, “Giving them samples and food — just to incentivize people and help them understand the importance of COVID and what we all can do together to contain this illness.”The organizations prepared for the event via zoom meetings — organizing parking, traffic, and registration process. There was a Vietnamese interpreter on site.
This is the first event held in Rochester in collaboration with the city’s Diversity Council, Indian Cultural Association Minnesota, Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association, and Rochester Cambodia Association.
Zhang says they hope to secure more locations and more food giveaways in the future.