A new data note summarizes and analyzes survey data collected by HRSA, as reported for July 24, 2020. Among the key findings:

  • Community health centers have tested more than 2.27 million patients for the COVID-19 infection since reporting began in April.
  • 299,697 health center patients have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, accounting for an estimated one in 14 of all COVID-19 cases nationally (7.3 percent).
  • The number of COVID-19 viral tests conducted by health centers (205,910) was at its third-highest level this past week, but nearly 26,000 lower than the week before.
  • Prolonged test turn-around times continued. Two in three (66 percent) responding health centers reported turn-around times of four or more days, while nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of look-alike health centers reported average waiting times for COVID-19 viral test results of four days or more. Only one in three (34 percent) reported average turn-around times that met the Department of Health and Human Services acceptable standard of up to three days, and in only two states did all CHCs report turn-around times within 3 days.

As outbreaks surge, with 24 states in the “red zone” of increasing coronavirus cases, community health centers continued to conduct high numbers of COVID-19 virus tests, but longer turn-around times to obtain test results, which reflect broader delays and may be indicative of capacity issues, could result in both delayed care, and greater spread of coronavirus cases.

The data note was produced by the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative.

Download the data note here.