Health Center Testing for SARS-CoV-2 During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 5–October 2, 2020
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Health Center Testing for SARS-CoV-2 During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 5–October 2, 2020

Filetype[PDF-180.52 KB]

  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
    • Description:
      Long-standing social inequities and health disparities have resulted in increased risk for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, severe illness, and death among racial and ethnic minority populations. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program supports nearly 1,400 health centers that provide comprehensive primary health care* to approximately 30 million patients in 13,000 service sites across the United States.| In 2019, 63% of HRSA health center patients who reported race and ethnicity identified as members of racial ethnic minority populations (1). Historically underserved communities and populations served by health centers have a need for access to important information and resources for preventing exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to testing for those at risk, and to follow-up services for those with positive test results.| During the COVID-19 public health emergency, health centers| have provided and continue to provide testing and follow-up care to medically underserved populations**; these centers are capable of reaching areas disproportionately affected by the pandemic.| HRSA administers a weekly, voluntary Health Center COVID-19 Survey| to track health center COVID-19 testing capacity and the impact of COVID-19 on operations, patients, and personnel. Potential respondents can include up to 1,382 HRSA-funded health centers.| To assess health centers' capacity to reach racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk for COVID-19 and to provide access to testing, CDC and HRSA analyzed survey data for the weeks June 5-October 2, 2020*** to describe all patients tested (3,194,838) and those who received positive SARS-CoV-2 test results (308,780) by race/ethnicity and state of residence. Among persons with known race/ethnicity who received testing (2,506,935), 36% were Hispanic/Latino (Hispanic), 38% were non-Hispanic White (White), and 20% were non-Hispanic Black (Black); among those with known race/ethnicity with positive test results, 56% were Hispanic, 24% were White, and 15% were Black. Improving health centers' ability to reach groups at increased risk for COVID-19 might reduce transmission by identifying cases and supporting contact tracing and isolation. Efforts to improve coordination of COVID-19 response-related activities between state and local public health departments and HRSA-funded health centers can increase access to testing and follow-up care for populations at increased risk for COVID-19.
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