St. Agnes of Bohemia offers gym for ongoing COVID-19 testing

By Joyce Duriga | Editor
Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Sanu Amin from Prism Health Lab administer a free COVID-19 tests to Maria Perez, a parishioner, in the gymnasium of St. Agnes of Bohemia School, 2651 S. Central Park Ave., on Jan. 30. Since the end of December, the gymnasium has served as a free testing site on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)

When city officials approached St. Agnes of Bohemia Parish, which is located in the heart of Little Village, as a possible COVID-19 testing site, the parish agreed and testing by Prism Health Lab has been taking place each weekend since Dec. 20.

St. Agnes of Bohemia is just one of dozens of Catholic churches and schools that have hosted COVID-19 testing sites during the pandemic, according to city and state websites. Most were pop-ups sites offering testing for a day or two.

Staff from Prism Health Lab set up in the school gym, which is not used by the school on weekends, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday. Test results come back in 24 to 48 hours and testing is free for those who don’t have insurance.

When they first opened the site, 129 people came for testing, but the numbers have been dwindling, according to Prism Health staff. People who live in Little Village have been hit hard by the pandemic, so city officials have set up extra sites in that community.

Maria Perez, a parishioner at St. Agnes, came to get tested on Jan. 30 after being exposed to someone who tested positive. Perez works as a babysitter so is very conscious of the need to stay healthy.

She said she is grateful the church has a walk-in site in the school gym.

“It’s a good idea because I’ve been having a hard time scheduling a test,” she said.

Perez has been tested a few times and often has had to wait many days for her results. That meant she had to keep her son home from school and couldn’t work until the results came back.

Eventually, the St. Agnes testing site will also offer vaccines for COVID-19.


  • covid-19

Related Articles