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On the day before the primary, Page announces increased COVID-19 testing in north St. Louis County

On the day before the primary, Page announces increased COVID-19 testing in north St. Louis County

Florissant coronavirus testing

Care STL Nurse Treina McCoo administers a COVID-19 test at Christ the King United Church of Christ in Florissant on Friday, June 05, 2020. The tests, which were administered by Care STL Health, were free for everyone and the church also provided each person with a health kit containing masks and hand sanitizer. Photo by Colter Peterson,

CLAYTON — St. Louis County announced a partnership on Monday with a group of community health centers to increase COVID-19 testing in north St. Louis County.

The county is committing $578,000 to Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health Centers in federal coronavirus relief money to help fund the sites. The organization has health centers in Ferguson and in north St. Louis County, and two in St. Louis.

The county received $173.5 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. County Executive Sam Page says his administration has has set aside $4 million to make sure testing reaches “historically underserved communities.”

Page announced the funding on Monday, a day before the Democratic primary in the county executive race. Asked for responses, challengers Mark Mantovani and Jake Zimmerman said he should have acted earlier.

Page has been criticized for the lack of testing in north St. Louis County in the early days of the pandemic, when the only testing to be had was at private health systems along the central corridor.

Page in a debate last month that the criticism was “an unfortunate lie that’s been told over and over again” and that the county has been committed to helping in areas where the virus had disproportionate impact.​

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