RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is giving the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) more than $30 million to address COVID-19-related health care inequality.
The two year-grant will provide more than $27 million directly to the state. An additional $3.3 million will be given to the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health.
About $12 million will go to Virginia rural communities. The rest will be turned into mini-grants for communities.
“We know COVID-19 has had an uneven impact on communities,” Virginia’s state health commissioner, M. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A. said. “Throughout this pandemic, we have worked hard to apply resources evenly and equitably. These additional funds are allowing us to enhance those efforts, particularly in those areas where disparities in COVID-19 testing, cases and deaths, and vaccination rates continue to exist. Disparities exist across race, ethnicity and geography. The largest disparities in COVID-19 cases and deaths were found in census tracts with the greatest percentage of poverty and in areas that are more rural. We are using these dollars to enhance targeted outreach and efforts.”
The boost is part of a $2.5 billion investment across the country to address COVID-19 health equity for racial and ethnic minority groups and rural populations.
It’ll be used to improve COVID-19 testing and contact tracing. Plus, improve access to health care services.
VDH has also established a COVID-19 Funding Steering Committee to make sure the funds are distributed equitably.