CDC awards Michigan more than $40M to address COVID health disparities

Amelia Benavides-Colón
The Detroit News
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is providing the state with more than $40 million to address COVID-19-relate health disparities, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday. 

The $40,536,931 in grants was awarded to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the City of Detroit Health Department to "demonstrate our steadfast commitment to keeping equity at the center of everything we do," said Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, CDC Director.

"They are an important step in our unwavering efforts to strengthen our communities’ readiness for public health emergencies—and to helping everyone in America have equal opportunities for health.”

See all places receiving the grants here.

Current figures in Michigan show a total of 891,615 COVID cases and 19,479 deaths since the virus was first detected in March 2020, according to DHHS.

The state has initiated several programs designed to increase Michigan's vaccination rate including door-to-door outreach, free rides to clinics and mobile vaccine clinics.

Detroit announced its home-bound vaccine initiative on June 9, making it possible for homebound residents and their families to be given the vaccine in their homes. The initiative hopes to vaccinate the estimated 40,000 Detroiters unable to attend a vaccine clinic.

The CDC's new funding intends to: reduce COVID-related health disparities, improve and increase testing and contact tracing among populations that are at higher risk and are underserved, including racial and ethnic minority groups and people living in rural communities and improve health department capacity and services to prevent and control COVID-19 infection, said the release.

“The pandemic has laid bare longstanding health inequities, and health departments are on the front line of efforts to address those inequities,” said José T. Montero, Director of the CDC’s Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support. “These grants will provide these health departments with much needed support to address disparities in communities that need it most.”

More information can be found at taggs.hhs.gov/Coronavirus.

The initiative is funded through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021.

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