As we continue to battle COVID-19 and work towards returning to normal, we must prioritize widespread testing availability. Diagnostic and antibody testing is a foundational step in identifying hotspots and understanding the extent of community spread so we can make informed decisions to combat an outbreak. The mass production of tests around the country is a result of long-lasting public/private partnerships between federal health agencies, academic medical centers, and clinical laboratories, among others, that allow for a quicker, more effective response to public health emergencies.
These partnerships have led to valuable insight on the scope of spread and allocation of resources. Public health departments continue to be an essential link in the chain when it comes to public health responses. They possess community-based, granular knowledge and data that is critically important, which is why I have strongly supported funding for health care centers across North Carolina.
These departments across the country can easily identify medically underserved communities, historically marginalized communities of color, and certain industrial hotspots such as agriculture processing facilities. With this knowledge, departments are able to steer much-needed resources to the highest-risk communities to mitigate the spread.
Thank you for reading, and as always please reach out to my office if you have any questions or need help with a federal agency and please stay safe.