Miami Marlins offering weekly COVID-19 saliva tests to community partners

MIAMI (WSVN) - The Miami Marlins are pitching in to help stop the spread of COVID-19 within the community.

Throughout the pandemic, the Miami Marlins have stepped up to distribute food to members of the community, but now the team is helping out by donating COVID-19 saliva tests to several local centers.

7News cameras were at the Boys and Girls Club of Miami-Dade on Thursday when the first testing event was held.

“Each week we’re providing 50 COVID-19 saliva tests to each of our community partners, so it totals about 300 a week, 1,200 a month,” said Miami Marlins Assistant Director of Communications Jon Erik Alvarez.

The Marlins are working with Major League Baseball to provide the needed free tests. Their goal is to help provide a safe environment for the children, as well as their families, once they are tested.

“They reached out and said, ‘Listen, we want to help. We want to help with what you guys do. We want to help the community. We want to help your staff, the kids,'” said Alex Rodriguez-Roig with the Boys and Girls Club of Miami-Dade, “so the idea of having weekly testing has been phenomenal.”

The saliva tests are easy to take. They are the same tests that Marlins players took during the season.

Results come back in 24 to 48 hours.

Ronny Vera, who took the test on Thursday, spoke to 7News about his experience.

“As you come in, it’s really simple. It takes less than 5 minutes,” he said. “They don’t put nothing up your nose, so it doesn’t hurt. It’s not uncomfortable.”

The free testing is available to anyone in the community.

“The biggest thing we get is, ‘Wow, this is fantastic that it’s right here in our backyard,” said Rodriguez-Roig.

“It helps them continue to function and provide a safe space for the kids to come out and play,” said Alvarez.

The Marlins’ community partners also include Alpha Charter of Excellence, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami, CNC, Knowledge is Power Program Miami and the Overtown Youth Center.

“It allows for their staff, for the families and for the kids of the community to get tested, to know that they have a safe space for them to come,” said Alvarez.

The tests will be conducted weekly through the spring of 2021.

Free COVID-19 tests are also being conducted outside of Marlins Park. For more information about COVID-19 testing in Miami-Dade, click here.

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