A new data note summarizes and analyzes survey data collected by HRSA, as reported for August 21, 2020. Among the key findings:

  • Community health centers have tested more than 3.1 million people for COVID-19 infection since reporting began in April.
  • Health centers conducted 217,586 tests the week of August 21, the fourth-highest level since reporting began. Three percent of responding health centers reported that they currently have no COVID-19 testing capacity.
  • A total of 375,752 health center patients have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, accounting for 6.7 percent of cases nationally, or an estimated one in 15 cases.
  • Turn-around times for test results have improved, with 32 percent of responding health centers reporting turn-around times of four or more days, and nine percent, of more than five days. Still, only 68 percent reported averaged turn-around times that met the Department of Health and Human Services acceptable standard of up to three days, and only 14 percent received results within 24 hours.
  • One in 14 sites (953) was reported closed and weekly visits remained 20 percent below pre-COVID levels.
  • At least six percent of health centers lacked the full range of PPE needed to safely conduct testing and maintain general operations.
  • Five percent of health center workers (12,500 FTE staff) were unable to work due to COVID-19, for reasons that included site closures, family/home obligations, lack of PPE, and exposure to coronavirus.

As daily cases have begun to increase again and amid concerns that a hyperactive hurricane season will result in COVID-19 outbreaks, community health centers continued to conduct high numbers of tests. While the decline in site closures is at its lowest reported level since April, the data continue to identify challenges that health centers face in both responding to the COVID-19 outbreak and in restoring operational capacity.

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