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Pilsen, Little Village, West Loop

Howard Brown Offering Free Coronavirus Testing At National Museum Of Mexican Art In Pilsen

Coronavirus testing is available 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday. It's free, no appointment is needed and you can get tested regardless of immigration status.

A person directs drivers in line for free COVID-19 tests at Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood on Monday, November 30, 2020.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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PILSEN — Howard Brown Health has opened a coronavirus testing site in Pilsen.

The LGBTQ-affirming community health organization partnered with the National Museum of Mexican Art to offer provide free coronavirus tests three days per week at the museum.

Testing is available 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday at 1852 W. 19th St. It’s free, no appointment is needed and you can be tested regardless of your immigration status, said Maria Marquez, Howard Brown Health’s associate director of practice operations.

While no insurance is required, individuals with health insurance can provide information to staff, Marquez said.

“Providing no-cost, walk-up testing to Chicago’s most vulnerable communities like Pilsen align with our mission to eliminate disparities in healthcare experienced by the most vulnerable,” Marquez said. “Latinx and Black communities are most likely to test positive for COVID-19. These same communities have the highest concentration of front line essential workers.” 

Carlos Tortolero, founder and president of the National Museum of Mexican Art, welcomed the partnership. Since the outset of the pandemic, the community had been “impacted tremendously” by the virus, Tortolero said.

“We need to support our communities as much as possible,” Tortolero said. “The museum is a welcoming place and that’s what we needed to have people from our community to come and get tested.” 

The museum has been closed to the public since March.

Howard Brown Health has similar community testing sites in Little Village, Austin, and Englewood. It also hosts mobile testing sites on the South and West sides.

At the new site, Howard Brown Health staff will be able to provide indoor testing during the winter. The space is large enough that organizers can fit up to 20 people inside and they can stay distant while they wait to be tested. 

“Since sometimes weather can be a barrier to access, we wanted to ensure that a vulnerable community had access to no-cost testing, but also that we were able to provide patient comfort while they wait to be tested,” Marquez said. “Our goal is to continue this partnership as long as its needed to support the community in Pilsen.”

Howard Brown Health also offered pop-up testing at the museum in January. The testing site officially opened Tuesday.

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