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Want to get tested for COVID-19? Omaha Housing Authority will offer free testing Friday

Want to get tested for COVID-19? Omaha Housing Authority will offer free testing Friday

Free COVID-19 testing will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday outside an Omaha Housing Authority apartment building near downtown Omaha.

The testing will be in the parking lot of Jackson Tower, 600 S. 27th St. It is open to the public. People can preregister at, but that is not required. People can walk up or drive up.

The housing authority is offering the testing in partnership with TestNebraska and the State of Nebraska. TestNebraska is not affected by the supply shortage that has hampered another testing site in Omaha.

Sal Issaka, director of resident initiatives and public housing engagement, said the testing is being offered at an OHA site because of the population the agency serves and the barriers the people have to accessing testing at other sites in the community. Those barriers include access to technology and transportation.

“We want to make sure we do our part to provide these additional resources to make sure our residents are getting tested,” Issaka said.

Free rides to and from the testing site will also be available to OHA residents and the general public as well. The Simple Foundation, a local nonprofit organization, is sponsoring the rides through the ride service Lyft, or with drivers from African and Asian refugee populations. The drivers and passengers will be equipped with masks, sanitation and social distancing.

People can call the Simple Foundation at 402-713-9394 for information about arranging a ride.

“We’ve got folks who have lost their jobs, or who don’t have cars, who don’t have rides and can’t take the bus,” said Osuman Issaka, founder and CEO of the Simple Foundation. The organization has also been providing food to people affected by the coronavirus.

“With this one we’re really focusing on transportation, to get folks from one point to the next so they can get tested,” he said.

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Chris Burbach covers the Douglas County Board, Planning Board and other local government bodies, as well as local neighborhood issues. Follow him on Twitter @chrisburbach. Phone: 402-444-1057.

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