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Numbers Show Why Jordan Health Needed to be COVID-19 Test Site

Patti Singer
pattisinger@minorityreporter.net

Anthony Jordan Health Center

Health Center marked the six-month anniversary of its respiratory clinic by announcing numbers that highlight why it was so important to provide COVID-19 testing and care for people with breathing issues.

More than 2,200 tests that have been conducted at the clinic. The rate of positive tests among Black patients is 6.10%. The rate among whites is 5.38% and the rate among Latinos is 3.25%.

Data from Monroe County show that people of color and people who live in poverty have borne a higher burden of the disease, and those individuals make up many of Jordan’s patients. As of Oct. 21, the age-adjusted rate of cases among Blacks was about three times that of whites. It also was higher than the age-adjusted rate for Latinos.

The positive rate of tests for Monroe County was at 3.5% on Nov. 7, according to data from the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“… (T)he test results from our respiratory clinic paint a stark picture of the disproportionate way this virus impacts impoverished communities,” said Janice Harbin, CEO of the Jordan Health Center.

The Jordan Health Respiratory Clinic is part of the Anthony L. Jordan Health Center, 82 Holland St., and is open to all from 1 to 8 p.m. Appointments are scheduled on the COVID-19 hotline, (585) 423-5848.

The clinic opened in April, just weeks after the pandemic hit Rochester when Monroe County and the city of Rochester teamed with Jordan to help address the impacts of COVID-19 on the communities it serves. Jordan also partnered with Rochester Regional Health, UR Medicine and Common Ground Health. It took about two weeks for the site to open. It cares for patients with new or existing respiratory symptoms requiring in-person evaluation, as well as to administer COVID-19 testing.

“When we thought we needed to set up an access point here at Jordan for the patients we serve … we were thinking this was going to be for a few months,” said Dr. Laurie Donohue, medical director for the health center. “It’s clear as we see a surge once again of this virus that we’re in this for the long haul.”

Jordan Health Center infection prevention nurse Flora McEntee performs a COVID-19 test on Jason Dunn of Jordan’s leadership team. Provided photo

Because of COVID-19 restrictions when the respiratory center opened, Jordan was not able to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony. A ceremony was held Nov. 7, with dignitaries wearing masks and trying to stay appropriately spaced from one another.

“When we made the call to Jordan Health, Dr. Harbin did not miss a beat,” said Candice Lucas, chief community engagement officer for Monroe County. “… Jordan Health has been at the front lines of providing the care our community needs. It’s not just COVID testing but all the evaluating and making sure people have the best care they can possibly get.”

COVID-19 cases have risen daily over the past week in Monroe County.

“Even small gatherings of family and friends at restaurants or bars or even at private homes have resulted in outbreaks when masks are not worn and social distancing is not properly implemented,” Donohue said. “As Thanksgiving approaches, we urge everyone to consider the well-being of our community and remember the necessary health protocols when making plans for the holiday.”