Key Updates from the Health Center COVID-19 Survey (Week #32): The Status of Community Health Centers as the Nation Enters the Worst Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic

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.

Months into the COVID-19 Pandemic, Community Health Centers Report Signs of Improvement, But Face Financial Uncertainty

This policy brief reports on the COVID-19 experience of the nation’s community health centers over a six-month period, utilizing data from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA’s) weekly Health Center COVID-19 Survey from April 3rd, 2020 to October 2nd, 2020. The data demonstrate that community health centers were immediately responsive to the public health crisis, initiating diagnostic testing for the COVID-19 virus, and adapting care such as telehealth to address patient needs.

COVID-19’s Impact on CHCs: Infographic

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the temporary closure of more than 2,000 Community Health Center (CHC) sites in April. While CHCs rallied to provide testing and essential care, and have worked hard to reopen, the pandemic has put CHCs at risk, threatening access to care.

See the latest infographic from the Geiger Gibson Program and RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative here.

An Unexpected Education: Teaching Health Center Training in a Global Pandemic

In a few short weeks, newly trained primary care physicians and dentists will complete their residencies at the nation’s 56 Teaching Health Centers (THCs) and join a desperately needed cadre of health professionals serving rural and underserved communities. Their experiences will be unlike residents who preceded them.