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COVID-19 Equity Considerations, Testing Substitutions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on July 24 released a health equity strategy to accelerate progress in reducing COVID-19 disparities. The agency also issued COVID-19 health equity considerations outlining the effect of social determinants of health on ethnic and racial minority groups.

The health equity strategy targets ethnic and racial minorities, as well as people living in rural or frontier areas; experiencing homelessness; in essential and front-line work; with disabilities; with substance use disorders; who are incarcerated; and born outside the United States.

CDC recognizes these groups might be more susceptible to COVID-19 due to social risk factors, such as discrimination; health care access and utilization; occupation; education, income, and wage gaps; and housing. The health equity strategy seeks to combat these disparities through a four-pronged strategy:

  • expanding the evidence base;
  • expanding testing, contact tracing, isolation, health care, and recovery programs while reducing the negative consequences of mitigation, such as loss of insurance, food, housing, and income; mental health concerns; and violence;
  • supporting front-line workers to reduce COVID-19 spread; and
  • developing an inclusive workforce to meet the needs of the diverse U.S. population.

For each goal, CDC has set immediate activities and intermediate outcomes to be met within three to 12 months.

FDA Issues COVID-19 Testing Substitutions

New guidance from the Food and Drug Administration shows validated supply alternatives that labs can use to continue screening when there is a supply issue with some components of a test. Health care providers can download the guidance in a PowerPoint.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the outbreak.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.

About the Author

Emily Schweich is a communications manager at America's Essential Hospitals.

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