Actor Sean Penn helping people in metro Atlanta have more access to COVID-19 tests

NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — More people will be able to get a coronavirus test thanks to the help of actor Sean Penn and others.

Penn is working with a group that is providing millions of dollars for testing in metro Atlanta. They started in Los Angeles in March, partnering with local governments, and are now in 10 cities.

But in Atlanta and Fulton County, it’s their biggest operation. And it’s expanding with $3 million to help expand COVID-19 testing.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Coronavirus in Georgia]

There are fixed sites, like on North Point Parkway and at Wolf Creek, but the group is able to deploy more mobile units into communities and target the most vulnerable populations.

Penn co-founded CORE, or Community Organized Relief Effort, more than a decade ago in response to the earthquake in Haiti.

Related Stories:

Now CORE is helping with the COVID-19 pandemic, with up to more than 1.2 million tests administered across the country.

In Fulton County, the new partnership runs through the end of the year and will also help with contact tracing and investigations and resource utilization and coordination.

“This partnership and integrated services sets an example not only for the state of Georgia, but rest of the nation. That’s a very real thing we will work very hard to be proud of here,” Penn said.

So far Fulton County has tested 430,000 people, with a goal of 1 million tests by the end of the year.

Penn said he hopes this partnership will help make that happen.