A new data note summarizes and analyzes survey data collected by HRSA, as reported for August 14, 2020. Among the key findings:
- Community health centers have tested more than 2.9 million patients for the COVID-19 infection since reporting began in April, with more than 251,000 tests conducted last week alone.
- A total of 362,363 health center patients have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, accounting for 6.8, or an estimated one in 15 cases nationally.
- Among health center patients who tested positive for COVID-19, 53 percent were identified as racial and ethnic minorities.
- Nearly 40 percent of responding community health centers reported turn-around times for test results of four or more days, an improvement compared prior weeks. However, only 61 percent reported average turn-around times that met the Department of Health and Human Services acceptable standard of up to three days.
- One in 12 sites (1,045) was reported closed and weekly visits remained 20 percent below pre-COVID levels.
While community health centers conducted the highest-ever numbers of COVID-19 viral tests last week, prolonged turn-around times to obtain test results reflect ongoing problems with test supply chains and heightened demand for testing. Large, sustained losses in access points, gaps in the supply of PPE, site closures and ongoing reduced volume are driving substantial revenue losses, highlighting the need for substantial investment to fully restore primary care capacity as demand for testing surges and need for care increases.
The data note was produced by the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative.
Download the data note.