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Over the Counter Rapid COVID-19 Tests for Vulnerable populations


[via the PA Department of Health and PA CHW Collaborative Partners]


In order to close gaps in COVID-19 equity across the Commonwealth, the Department of Health is providing OTC COVID-19 rapid tests at no cost to vulnerable populations across the Commonwealth and is seeking partners to help distribute tests in high-need communities. Partners can request tests via online form here: OTC Test Request Form. Any questions for the COVID-19 Testing Team should also be submitted using this form.

Participating organizations/entities must:

· Be able to receive delivery of and store tests on-site

· Determine test pickup times/dates, and local distribution strategy

· Communicate test availability to local vulnerable populations

Please note:

· Test quantity allocated is dependent on DOH’s supply on hand and submitting a request does not guarantee fulfillment

· Priority will be given to sites that can access high-need populations, e.g.,

o Areas with high social vulnerability index

o Limited COVID-19 testing alternatives

· Request fulfillment is limited to 2 requests per month

· For organizations that will broadly distribute to greater communities, we will periodically update the testing website (COVID-19 Testing | PA.GOV) to list location/time/dates for distribution

Social Vulnerability:

· Social vulnerability refers to the resilience of communities (the ability to survive and thrive) when confronted by external stresses on human health, stresses such as natural or human-caused disasters, or disease outbreaks. Reducing social vulnerability can decrease both human suffering and economic loss. Socially vulnerable populations include those who have special needs, such as, but not limited to, people without vehicles, people with disabilities, older adults, and people with limited English proficiency. The Social Vulnerability Index includes the following themes and social factors:

o Socioeconomic status (below poverty, unemployed, low/no income, no high school diploma)

o Household composition & disability (aged 65 or older, aged 17 or younger, older than age 5 with a disability, single-parent households)

o Minority status & language (minority, speak English “less than well”)

o Housing type & transportation (multi-unit structures, mobile homes, crowding, no vehicle, group quarters)

· Additional information from CDC on the Social Vulnerability Index can be found here: CDC/ATSDR SVI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) | Place and Health | ATSDR

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