Birmingham To Launch Ride Service For COVID-19 Patients

 1561547001 
1586883064

The City of Birmingham expects to launch a service this week to safely transport people to coronavirus testing sites. It’s an initiative through Birmingham Strong, a public-private civic coalition spearheaded by the city.

An estimated 12% of Birmingham residents live in a household without a car. Officials say that’s been a problem for people who want to be tested for coronavirus or who need medical care.

Starting this week, health care providers will be able to schedule free rides using an app, according to Josh Carpenter, the city’s innovation and economic opportunity director. The city trained four drivers this past weekend. Carpenter says it works like most ride-sharing services, except the entire back seat of a car is enclosed in a vinyl-type material. The material stretches over PVC pipe to create a barrier between the front and back seats.

The driver can drop off a patient, remove that vinyl, “sanitize their car and get paid to serve in that capacity,” Carpenter says.

City of Birmingham
The back seat is enclosed to keep drivers safe.

“We didn’t have a particularly effective mass transportation program before, and it’s pretty dangerous actually to transport people in buses if they think they might be COVID-positive,” Carpenter says.

He says the city worked with a company to design an app that could be integrated across local health systems so that health care workers could easily coordinate patient visits.

Drivers can also take patients to clinics and isolation housing. It’s designed for one patient at a time, but a companion can come if necessary.

 

What to know about Alabama abortion rights after SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade

The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to an abortion. Here’s what the decision means for the Gulf South region.

Alabama OKs $725M bond sale to build 2 supersize prisons

That money will be added to $135 million in state funds and $400 million in pandemic relief dollars that the state already agreed to put toward the project.

Britt wins tumultuous Alabama Senate race scrambled by Trump

Katie Britt won the Republican nomination for Senate in Alabama Tuesday, defeating six-term Rep. Mo Brooks in a primary runoff after former President Donald Trump took the unusual step of rescinding his initial Brooks endorsement.

2022 Alabama primary runoff results

Republicans will be choosing between Katie Britt and Roy Moore as their nominee for U.S. Senate. Democrats will pick a nominee for governor between Yolonda Flowers and Malika Sanders-Fortier.

Gunman kills 3 seniors over potluck dinner at Alabama church

The suspect, 70-year-old Robert Findlay Smith, was charged with capital murder Friday. He is being held on no bond.

More Coronavirus Coverage