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COVID-19 Health Equity
Topic Collection
July 30, 2020

Topic Collection: COVID-19 Health Equity

This collection provides a set of resources on the topic of Health Equity and Health Disparities associated with the COVID-19 emergency. When we think of Health Equity, we mean a fair and just opportunity for everyone to be as healthy as possible (“What is Health Equity?” https://www.rwjf.org/en/library/research/2017/05/what-is-health-equity-.html). The collection includes but is not limited to a wide spectrum of topics ranging from cultural competency in the wake of a global pandemic and general guidance to mitigate racial and ethnic inequities in our healthcare system. Readers will also be able to navigate through an expansive disaster preparedness web-based library for culturally diverse communities and other at-risk populations. These articles and other resources are aimed to provide healthcare professionals with useful and practical information as they serve communities during this pandemic and beyond.

Please refer to the CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 webpage for the most up-to-date guidance on COVID-19 Outbreak management.

If you are a decision-maker and have COVID-19 articles, plans, tools, promising practices, or templates to share with your peers, please visit the ASPR TRACIE Information Exchange COVID-19 Information Sharing Page (registration required) and place your resources under the relevant topic areas. Resources specific to decision-making on healthcare workforce can be placed under the COVID-19 Workforce Virtual Toolkit Topic.

NOTE: Inclusion of any reference in this document does not constitute an endorsement, acknowledgment, or suggestion that the reference is the only or best example for that topic. References are included as examples, which were provided as suggestions at the time the document was developed.

All guidance posted is accessible to the public, and non-federal resources are noted with an asterisk (*). Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by the U.S. Government, or any of its employees, of the information and/or products presented on that site, nor does it suggest the Government’s or a federal agency’s support for any views or positions espoused by the non-federal entity concerning any legislation pending before Congress. 

General Guidance


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2020). Addressing Health Equity During the COVID-19 Pandemic *.
This position paper provides useful and practical examples of steps that healthcare professionals can take to eliminate racial inequities in maternal health access, quality of care, and health outcomes.
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American Medical Association. (2020). COVID-19 Health Equity Resources *.
This webpage includes links to several up-to-date articles, videos, survey data, dashboard metrics, and other resources for the healthcare workforce in serving communities of color in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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This YouTube video by Boston Medical Center vocalizes how racism has negatively impacted communities of color in healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. The video also provides examples of ways to focus intervention efforts to be inclusive of communities of color.
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). COVID-19 in Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups.
This resource examines the multiple complexities that directly affect the health of racial and ethnic minority groups during a pandemic. Factors such as living conditions, work circumstances, and health access promote COVID-19 infection and isolate minorities from response resources.
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This web-based library targets public health, healthcare and emergency management providers and focuses on topics such as disaster preparedness for culturally diverse communities and other at-risk populations.
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This article outlines a compass for healthcare professionals when treating and responding to communities in the wake of a global pandemic. This article details five principles for leaders to use as a path forward in advancing health equity in ways that are not just the status quo, but are transformative in improving the quality of lives for its citizens.
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Williams, D. and Cooper, L. (2020). COVID-19 and Health Equity-A New Kind of “Herd Immunity” *. Journal of the American Medical Association. 323(24):2478-2480.
This article provides documented evidence of systemic inequities in healthcare and how this leads to blind spots from the healthcare system when providing culturally competent care to people of color, including testing obstacles during a pandemic. Additionally, the author provides an explanation of what is meant by the term “herd immunity.”
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Health Disparities


This webinar, held in April 2020, is one of several “#COVID19Conversations” sponsored by the American Public Health Association. The esteemed panel participating in this webinar explores the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 is having on communities of color, specific steps that healthcare professionals can take to combat the inequities, and how best practices from past pandemics can lay the foundation for removing obstacles.
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