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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced a new plan to address health equity issues amid COVID-19.

Members of some racial and ethnic minority populations are at a greater risk for COVID-19 infection, severe illness, and death due to persistent health disparities, combined with discriminatory historic housing patterns, work circumstances, and other factors. Given the inequitable impact of the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently unveiled a plan to focus more on community health, cultural competence, and access to COVID-19 testing and treatment as part of its efforts to promote health equity during its COVID-19 response.

The plan, which CDC published on June 24, outlines specific action steps it will take to address the racial health disparities that have emerged throughout the pandemic. Notably, Black and Hispanic patients are more likely to contract the illness and suffer worse symptoms than their white peers. To learn more, see the full plan here.

As further evidence of the disproportionate toll the virus is having on minority communities, on July 28, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its first monthly update of data that provides a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on the Medicare population. This data, for the first time, includes information for American Indian/Alaskan Native Medicare beneficiaries, and indicates that these populations have the second highest rate of hospitalization for COVID-19 among racial/ethnic groups after African Americans. Previously, the number of hospitalizations of American Indian/Alaskan Native beneficiaries was too low to be reported. For more information, see the FAQ here, and for more information on the Medicare COVID-19 data see here.

On July 22, C-TAC announced a new initiative to address disparities in care by advocating for a more equitable health care system. To learn more about our efforts to support the sickest and most vulnerable among us, please click here.

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