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Free food, COVID-19 tests offered Friday at public health’s Gainesville testing site
COVID-19 test
This undated file photo provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows CDC's laboratory test kit for the coronavirus. - photo by Associated Press

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Free COVID-19 tests and boxes of food will be available Friday, May 1, in Gainesville for local residents in need.

The Georgia Mountain Food Bank will have packages of food available at the Allen Creek Soccer Complex lower field, according to a news release from the Department of Public Health.

The soccer complex has been serving as a DPH COVID-19 testing facility for District 2, requiring referrals from the health department or another medical provider. 

Food will be given to each vehicle at the testing site while supplies last. One package of food per car can be picked up between 8:30 and 5 p.m. or until supplies run out. 

DPH will be there to help register anyone who needs free testing for the coronavirus.

Anyone sick can call 770-531-5600 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays to schedule an appointment for free testing. Appointments are required for testing. 

The complex is at 2500 Allen Creek Road in Gainesville.

Free tests are also available April 28 at Good News Clinics.

Hall County cases have continued to increase while data shows a decrease statewide, Gov. Brian Kemp said April 27 in a press briefing. Local health leaders have cited a disproportionate number of affected Latinos, citing socioeconomic conditions and working in poultry plants as potential factors. 

NGHS data — which includes tests completed on specimens from NGHS facilities and Longstreet Clinic — shows 56% of COVID-19 cases from Hall County are Latino. Across the entire NGHS service area, which spans most of Northeast Georgia, 40% of cases were identified as Latino, according to the data. Those percentages have increased since earlier this month when they were 49% and 30%, respectively.

According to 2019 census estimates, 29% of Hall County residents identify as Latino.