As the nation entered the worst phase of the COVID-19 pandemic to date, data from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA’s) weekly Health Center COVID-19 Survey indicate that the number of patients tested for the COVID-19 virus this week (244,945) neared the peak level (251,246) reported in mid-August. Similarly, the number of health center patients (31,519) and staff members (1,164) who tested positive for the virus also trended upward, raising additional concern. Additionally, with weekly health center visits consistently lower than before the pandemic and with no additional federal COVID-19 financial relief committed, the pandemic has taken an enormous financial toll on health centers. Cumulative patient revenue losses over seven months are estimated at $3.714 billion, which amounts to nearly 12 percent of total health center revenue reported nationally in 2019.
The data note is available here.