While undeniably heartbreaking, it’s no surprise that black and brown people are disproportionately affected by the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the CDC, as of mid-April, roughly 33 percent of COVID-19 fatalities are African-American people.
In order to combat the spread of the illness in her home state of Texas, Beyoncé and her mother Tina Knowles-Lawson are teaming up to encourage Houston residents to get tested through the #IDIDMYPART Mobile Testing Relief Campaign. The initiative is sponsored by Queen Bey’s BeyGOOD.
According to a press release, the tests will be administered this week, and will provide “1,000 test kits, face masks, gloves, essential vitamins and household supplies to citizens of Houston.” The free test will be administered under incredibly safe conditions, as those who are participating won’t have to leave their vehicles. 500 tests will be administered at Houston’s 3rd Ward at Cullen Middle School on Friday, May 8, and the other 500 tests will be conducted at Forest Brook Middle School in North Houston the following day. Both days of testing will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Participants will receive a grocery store gift card from BeyGOOD purchased from Houston grocery store chain H-E-B Grocery Company, as well as a voucher for popular Texas restaurants Frenchy’s Chicken and Burns Original Bar-B-Q, and a brochure on how to stay safe and healthy during these stressful and uncertain times.
“We are all in this together,” Knowles-Lawson said in a statement. “But we have to look at what is happening in our black and brown communities and how they are being decimated by COVID-19. It is critical that we stay vigilant with social distancing, wearing a mask, and most of all getting tested. If you don’t get tested then you don’t know if you are a carrier of the virus. Being asymptomatic is how you infect your entire household and those around you, the very people you love. We have got to go to these free testing facilities and find out our status.”
Tyler Perry has pledged to help Atlanta residents out for the #IDIDMYPART campaign, and he will reportedly call on another celebrity to accept the challenge to help their own city.
“We must all do our part in saving lives and protecting our communities,” says BeyGOOD’s director Ivy McGregor. “What Ms. Tina has created is a huge step in showing us that we must put our health first.”