social responsibility COVID-19 diversity

Disparity in Access to COVID-19 Testing

By Charlene Taylor

With the spread of COVID-19 across America, patients in low-income minority communities do not get the same access to COVID-19 testing as other, more affluent groups. Despite how long we have been experiencing this pandemic, there are huge differences that minority groups experience listed below:

COVID-19 disparity in testing
1. No insurance

According to the CDC, there are more people of color uninsured in the United States than their white counterparts. Without equal access to healthcare, people of color are unable to afford testing; therefore many do not know whether or not they have been infected. The widespread uncertainty of one can lead to the spread of the virus in disparate communities. There have been many efforts to provide free testing to those who cannot afford it. However, sometimes these clinics are too far away or limited in hours.

2. Jobs

Many low-income minority Americans serve as essential workers in the fast food industry, grocery stores, hospitals and factories. These jobs put essential workers at more of a risk for contracting and spreading the virus.

3. Utilization of Healthcare

Many low-income families may not utilize different healthcare services for various reasons such as language barriers, no child care, or ability to take time off of work. Furthermore some low income minority families may not trust their healthcare provider due to a history of systemic racism in studies like the Tuskegee study and unauthorized sterilization of minority women..

What you can do: 

While rates of COVID -19 continue to increase in the United States it is important to remember that not everyone gets the same access to testing. The failure to test leads to uncertainty about who has contracted and has not contracted the virus. 

You can aid your employees in finding free and affordable testing sites provided by their states. In addition to creating a resource for employees to find free testing sites, you can be flexible in providing time to allow them to get tested, and even help with transportation for employees who do not have access to transportation.

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by Charlene Taylor

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