Birmingham Council President calls for more coronavirus testing sites

Testing availability still posing a problem

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham Council President William Parker continues to ask for more coronavirus testing sites in Birmingham. He’d like to see testing in all 99 neighborhoods.

“We need testing sites. Legion Field is an ideal site,” Parker said. “We’re going to have to expand testing sites and expand the testing in order for us to really open up the economy not only in the city but across the state of Alabama.”

Testing in Alabama remains limited. As of Monday evening, a little over 45,000 people have been tested in the state. The state is pushing for more, especially in rural areas.

“We still need more testing than we have. We’re doing a much better job than we were say a month ago. We have testing available mostly daily in about 57 of our 67 counties. Even in those other counties we have the ability to get people tested on a case by case basis but we still have some room to improve,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said.

Parker is also asking for the state and county health departments to release demographic info for COVID-19 by zip code. As we’ve been covering, this coronavirus is disproportionately affecting African-American communities.

“That’s alarming so we need that data that then we can make a case to our congressional leaders to then fight for more funding,” Parker said.

In a letter, Jefferson County’s Chief Health Officer Dr. Mark Wilson says federal regulations prohibit the state and county from releasing detailed records or stats on COVID-19 cases within the county.

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