Plans for dog park turn into COVID-19 help in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Andrei Doroshin, a neuroscientist currently living in Philadelphia's Fishtown section planned on opening a dog park-style beer garden to raise money for animal shelters earlier this year.

"I subscribed to the philosophy that you should always have something philanthropic going on in your life," he explained.

But unfortunately, the year 2020 proved to not be a good time for opening a beer garden, and in March, Doroshin went a different way.

"Hey let's make a bunch of face shields for hospitals, it'll be philanthropic kind of thing. And then it grew into this whole operation," he said.

The face shield making operation was named Philly Fighting Covid and Doroshin put a team together to help.

Shak Rahman, a junior and biology major at Temple University, joined as head of marketing and fundraising.

"I felt like I couldn't really just idly sit by during a pandemic. I'm just trying to help the community as much as I can," said Rahman.

Then the group went a different way, again. They developed an outdoor COVID-19 testing facility with a medically trained staff that works out of the parking lot of the Fillmore in Fishtown. It's HIPPA compliant, and open to anyone, and free to everyone.

"Literally go to phillyfightingcovid.com and make an appointment with us. We do not need insurance, you don't need to pass, you don't need anything. Just come we want you to get tested," said Doroshin.

They currently test over 250 people a day and account for about 20% of the total testing done in the City of Philadelphia. They plan on opening four more sites in the next five weeks.

"It's all about patient interaction. It's all about making them feel comfortable in this place that they don't want to be at, in these times that they don't understand," Doroshin said.
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