“We don’t have the luxury of creating separate sick or smear areas,” said Dr. Hai Cao, pediatrician at South Slope Pediatrics in Brooklyn. “It would be nice if we did that. But in our limited space, I don’t see that as a prudent step. “
To make matters more complicated, not all Americans need to consult a doctor, said Dr. Utibe Essien, doctor and healthcare researcher at the School of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Coronavirus test is insured in the United States, however about 28 million people do not remain insured in the country. The federal government has set aside money to pay the bill for these patients, but some could still be charged with unexpected costs. The fear of an enormous medical bill can be enough to drive someone off a test site, said Dr. Maradiaga Panayotti.
Overall, tests still don’t reach some communities that need them most.
Dr. Brittani James, a general practitioner at Mile Square Health Center in Chicago, said the test center in the parking lot in front of her practice wasn’t even near capacity checks. In their community, where many residents are African-American, employment rates and housing security are low. People often cannot afford the car or bus fare that takes them to a test site. Some of Dr. James’ patients, disillusioned with decades of institutional racism, are also reluctant to visit government-linked test sites, she said.
The obstacles to a test are so high that “we can’t even get to the point:” Are there enough tests? “Said Dr. James.
Existing differences can only be exacerbated by the beginning of the fall season when other respiratory diseases that share symptoms with Covid-19, such as flu, recurrence, and schools, invite students back to campus.
As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise, many American cities are reopening – including St. Louis, where Dr. Hooks-Anderson is afraid of what’s to come.
“I think it will only get worse,” she said. “I’d like to be wrong.”