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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Sep 11, 2020.
COVID-19 Health Disparities Action Act of 2020
This bill directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to award grants, and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) to develop a plan, to address health disparities related to COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019).
Specifically, the CDC, in coordination with certain departments and agencies, must award grants for contact tracing to, among others, public health departments and health care providers. In awarding these grants, the CDC shall prioritize entities with a demonstrated commitment to employing individuals who represent the demographic groups in the community served by the entity.
The CDC must also work with states to update certain COVID-19 testing plans to address testing for populations experiencing COVID-19 health disparities.
Additionally, the CDC must award grants to public health departments, tribal organizations, and others for public awareness campaigns on COVID-19 health disparities and, upon the availability of a vaccine, COVID-19 vaccine safety. For these grants, the CDC must give priority to entities serving populations that experience COVID-19 health disparities and low rates of vaccinations, respectively. The CDC must undertake a separate COVID-19 public awareness campaign, as well.
In addition, the OMH must develop, within 30 days, an action plan on COVID-19 health disparities that addresses, among other issues, barriers to COVID-19 data collection. The OMH must coordinate with the CDC and others on this plan and update it at least every 30 days during the COVID-19 emergency.