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Health Equity in Action

Diverse group of people wearing face masks.

To help the United States prevent the spread of COVID-19, CDC is working with state, territorial, local, and tribal partners, as well as community-serving organizations, to ensure public health actions address health disparities for all populations.

CDC has launched a new web page, Health Equity in Action, to highlight CDC’s efforts to reduce health disparities among groups at higher risk for COVID-19. These projects align with CDC’s COVID-19 Health Equity Strategy and provide examples of CDC’s efforts to improve the health outcomes of groups that have been affected by COVID-19 more than others.

Explore what CDC and its partners are doing to address health disparities among populations at higher risk for COVID-19. Access CDC’s health equity resources to support communities who are more likely to get COVID-19, including

  • Racial and ethnic minority populations
  • People living in rural or frontier areas
  • People experiencing homelessness
  • Essential and frontline workers
  • People with disabilities
  • People with substance use disorders
  • People who are justice-involved
  • Non-US-born people

Recent CDC Findings Related to Health Equity

COVID-19 is a new disease that has affected many people globally. A growing number of studies show that some people are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19 than others. Researchers have reported differences between racial and ethnic groups that may make them more likely to get sick. To help reduce health disparities related to COVID-19, we must first understand the different ways that COVID-19 affects groups of people and the reasons behind those differences. Read about CDC’s recent work:

MMWR: Early Release, April 12, Emergency Department Visits for COVID-19, by Race and Ethnicity — 13 States, October–December 2020: Hispanic, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Black people have higher rates of hospitalization and death because of COVID-19 infections compared to White people. Protecting the health of all people relies on having data to assess and address health disparities. Data from emergency room visits can improve understanding of these issues.

MMWR: Early Release, April 12, Trends in Racial and Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19 Hospitalizations, by Region — United States, March–December 2020: COVID-19 affects racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States at a higher rate than other ethnic groups. They’re more likely to get infected, be hospitalized, or die. Understanding racial and ethnic disparities at a local level can help guide public health prevention strategies and more equal access to resources.

Promoting Health Equity in our Communities

To learn ways that you can help to decrease health disparities in your community, visit What We Can Do.

Community- and faith-based organizations, employers, healthcare systems and providers, public health agencies, policy makers, and others all have a part in helping to promote fair access to health. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, we must work together to ensure that people have resources to maintain and manage their physical and mental health, including easy access to information, affordable testing, and medical care. We need programs and practices that fit the communities where people live, learn, work, play, and worship.

Community and faith-based organizations can

  • Review and put into practice CDC’s guidance for Community Organizations and Gatherings, which includes promoting preventive measures, such as wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, getting a COVID-19 vaccine when it’s available to you, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces, and washing hands frequently.
  • Share COVID-19 prevention information with communities using ways you know are effective to connect with community members.
  • Work with others to connect people with goods (for example, healthy foods and temporary housing) and services to meet their physical, spiritual, and mental health needs.

Employers can

  • Review and put into practice CDC’s guidance for businesses and employers, reminding managers to ensure that best practices are followed.
  • Provide employees with COVID-19 prevention messages and trainings that are tailored to employees’ languages, literacy levels, and cultures.
  • Provide masks, hand sanitizers, handwashing stations, and personal protective equipment as appropriate.
  • Establish fair policies and practices for all employees to stay 6 apart from others, as possible.

Resources, Webinars, and Communication Products

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