For families, health starts at home. But as the pandemic shifts to a new phase, more and more Texas families are having trouble getting the COVID-19 test kits they need to protect children and parents.
This spring, Amerigroup partnered with 19 organizations across Texas, providing more than 108,000 at-home COVID-19 test kits to Texans who need them. These kits help individuals and families in hard-hit communities identify and treat the virus before it can spread.
Ivan Esquivel, director of Brother Bill’s Helping Hand Clinic, said the kits offer much-needed relief for the Dallas-area families his organization supports. Brother Bill’s received 4,923 test kits from Amerigroup, enough to supply roughly a quarter of their community members.
“The two zip codes we serve [in Dallas], 75212 and 75211, are the most heavily impacted zip codes when it comes to COVID-19 cases in Dallas County,” Esquivel said. “The home test kits provide a sense of peace to our neighbors, who have experienced so much grief during this pandemic.”
The pandemic took its worst toll on neighborhoods in which people of color and with disproportionately low incomes already struggle to access reliable healthcare. In many of these neighborhoods, COVID-19 testing also is less accessible. Language barriers exacerbate such disparities — especially in southwest Dallas, where many residents only speak Spanish.
“We saw a lot of death in our community,” Esquivel said.
Amerigroup worked to address these inequities by collaborating with community centers where residents are more comfortable seeking assistance.
“Fortifying communities is key to Amerigroup’s mission. Widespread COVID testing helps contain the virus in ways that allow people to get healthy and stay healthy,” Mogus said. “We’ll continue pursuing innovative collaborations to improve health — and healthcare access — in underserved communities.”
At-home test kits are a critical means of combatting the virus. Their results are prompt, and they can be taken comfortably and conveniently at home. Above all, these tests help people to know when they need treatment and how to best protect neighbors and family members.
“Healthcare is so unknown,” Esquivel said. “Being able to provide something like this to our neighbors is a blessing.”