A new data note summarizes and analyzes survey data collected by HRSA, as reported for the week of December 4, 2020, and also reports updated trends data for the eight-month period from April 3 through December 4.
- With 98 percent of all community health centers providing COVID-19 diagnostic testing, health centers have tested more than 6.2 million patients for COVID-19 virus over the eight-month period from April 3- December 4.
- The number of patients tested for the COVID-19 virus this week (335,139) reached the highest level reported over eight months.
- The number of health center patients with confirmed infection (51,637) was at its second-highest recorded level and the number of staff members who tested positive for the virus was (2,076) at its peak recorded level.
- In the aggregate, a total of 744,142 health center patients have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, accounting for 5.2 percent of cases nationally, or one in 19 of all U.S. cases.
- Patients reported as racial and ethnic minorities, particularly Hispanic/Latino patients, accounted disproportionately for patients who tested positive, both this week and consistently over the eight months of survey data.
- Health centers have administered 3,063,957 flu vaccines since August 2020. This number is nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of the total number of flu vaccines administered in 2019.
- With weekly health center visits consistently lower than before the pandemic and no additional federal COVID-19 financial relief yet committed, the pandemic has taken an enormous financial toll on health centers resulting in an estimated $4.006 billion in cumulative patient revenue losses over eight months, or nearly 13 percent of total health center revenue reported nationally in 2019.
These findings underscore the continued need for the expansion of health center testing resources, and the support for full participation of health centers in COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans. In the face of deep financial losses, continued financial uncertainty, and as the nation faces both the flu season and increased coronavirus cases, the future of our nation’s health centers should be a cause for both deep concern and renewed long-term support.
The data note was produced by the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative.
Download the data note.