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A new Portsmouth community center fights the pandemic’s surge

Families First is a nonprofit that attends the community regardless of ability to pay.
Families First
Families First is a nonprofit that attends the community regardless of ability to pay.

With the increase of COVID cases in the state, a community center is reinforcing its services for people who need to be treated but don’t need an emergency room.

A nonprofit in Portsmouth will open a new facility to respond to the recent wave of COVID-19 in New Hampshire.

Families First has previously provided primary and dental care resources, but now, it will offer COVID testing, vaccines boosters, telehealth, and mental health care for people affected by the pandemic.

Lara Drolet from Families First, says the community center can alleviate the burden on the state’s emergency rooms and help the health system function better.

“A more appropriate place for care is your local community center than walking to the ER every time you have COVID symptoms,” says Drolet.

Drolet says community centers around the country have seen an increase in people attending for COVID, but patients are also going because they are worried their underlying illness can worsen any symptoms of the virus.

“The pandemic has shone a light on community centers,” she said

The center will function by the end of the month. It is located at 8 Greenleaf Woods Drive in Portsmouth.

The services are by appointment. To book one, you can visit Families First online.

Gabriela Lozada is a Report for America corps member. Her focus is on Latinx community with original reporting done in Spanish for ¿Qué hay de Nuevo NH?.
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