Philadelphia doctor's mission: Get residents tested

Ala Stanford travels in her rented van to the poorest zip codes in the city, where blacks are nearly half of the COVID-19 cases.
2:13 | 04/29/20

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Transcript for Philadelphia doctor's mission: Get residents tested
We continue to report on the toll on African-Americans in this country, disproportionately affected. Tonight, another urgent need. A doctor in Philadelphia sounding the alarm about a shortage of blood donations. Here's linsey Davis. Reporter: Gwen Carter is about to be tested for covid-19. I am deeply grateful, whatever the outcome of this test may be. Reporter: So far Dr. Ala Stanford has tested more than 1500 people in the city of brotherly love and counting. How was it? Beautiful. Okay, I'll take it. Reporter: No referrals? No car? No money? Here in her hometown of Philadelphia, blacks make up the majority of the population and nearly half of the coronavirus cases. So many of us are face-front employees at grocery stores and the post office. So we don't have an option to work from home. Reporter: In her rented van, she travels to the poorest zip codes in Philadelphia. And everywhere they go, this is the scene. We've got 200 people in the parking lot even before we open. Reporter: But it's not just a testing shortage. ABC news has learned nationwide there is a dire shortage of blood donations from African-American donors. American red cross warns of severe blood shortages, especially for sickle cell patients in need. 98% of those patients are black. Concern about this population is great. It's not uncommon for children and adults with sickle cell disease to need monthly blood transfusions to prevent strokes and acute chest -- which is a pneumonia like illness. Reporter: So children's hospital of Philadelphia is now donating thousands of masks and hand sanitizers to the families of young people with the disease. This is so important, this urgent demand for blood donations. I know the American red cross is warning of a severe shortage? Reporter: That's right. Black blood donations have dropped by 50% just since last month. They believe that's because they're largely testing positive for coronavirus. But the need is great, and African-Americans are being urged to donate.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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