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Thu Jun 4, 2020, 07:49 AM

Scores of testing sites forced to close because of vandalism in civil unrest

Health

Scores of testing sites forced to close because of vandalism in civil unrest

By Amy Goldstein
June 3, 2020 at 7:33 p.m. EDT

At 1:30 a.m., Michael and Joan Kim were jolted awake by an alarm. Lying in bed, they grabbed their iPhones and watched what a security camera had captured moments before: the back of a U-Haul van ramming through the glass side wall of the Grubb’s pharmacy they own in Southeast Washington, cold medicine, allergy pills and bandages flying as wooden shelves splintered and crashed to the floor.

The Anacostia drugstore is one of four the Kims own in the District, and each has suffered damage during the past nights of unrest. It is not just structural harm left behind. The Anacostia store, targeted early Monday by the battering U-Haul, and the Kims’ pharmacies in Georgetown and on Capitol Hill also have been part of a federal program of free tests for the coronavirus.

They are among 70 such sites across the country that had to close because of destruction from civil unrest, according to figures compiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The department began the Community-Based Testing Sites program in March. Most of the testing locations were chosen because they are in what public health officials call “socially vulnerable” neighborhoods.

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Amy Goldstein
Amy Goldstein is The Washington Post’s national health-care policy writer. During her 30 years at The Post, her stories have taken her from homeless shelters to Air Force One, often focused on the intersection of politics and public policy. She is the author of the book "Janesville: An American Story." Follow https://twitter.com/goldsteinamy

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