Alexandria, VA

Casa Chirilagua and Neighborhood Health‘s efforts to increase the amount of COVID-19 testing in Arlandria have been rewarded by a $10,000 donation from AT&T split between the two nonprofits.

“At AT&T, we want to be there when our communities need us,” said Garrett McGuire, the AT&T regional director of external and legislative affairs, in a statement. “Chirilagua has faced many challenges during this pandemic, so we wanted to do what we could to help.”

Last Saturday, Neighborhood Health provided hundreds of free coronavirus tests outside Casa Chirilagua, and the nonprofit’s executive director said that the $5,000 donation came at a pivotal time.

“With this contribution, we were able to set up and administer testing and consultations at the Casa Chirilagua site,”Dr. Basim Khan said. “With this contribution, we were able to set up and administer testing and consultations at the Casa Chirilagua site. This additional testing is helping us identify and bring into care individuals who otherwise would have gone untested and unconnected to the care they need.”

Arlandria is also known as Chirilagua, after a municipality in El Salvador of the same name. The community, which is in the 22305 ZIP code, is heavily Hispanic and has 463 reported cases and an estimated population of 16,095. Hispanic residents make up 17% of the population and are leading with the highest number of cases in the city, with 783 reported cases, six deaths and 75 hospitalizations.

The actual number of cases in the community is unclear, since many residents live in packed housing and do not have health insurance and access to transportation.

Casa Chirilagua will use its $5,000 contribution to expand its outreach in Arlandria.

“AT&T’s response to the needs in the community brings a message of hope to those who have been terribly impacted by this crisis and ensures families have what they need to withstand this pandemic,” Casa Chirilagua Executive Director Adriana Gómez Schellhaas said. “Together, we can get through this, and we are extremely grateful for AT&T’s support of the community and for leading the way to a better future!”

Staff photo by James Cullum

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