Translate page with Google

Story Publication logo August 13, 2020

Why More Coronavirus Testing Won’t Automatically Help the Hardest Hit

Author:
Front of Orpheum theater
English

All of us at the Pulitzer Center have transitioned to working remotely, while our Campus Consortium...

author #1 image author #2 image
Multiple Authors
A COVID-19 testing center in San Francisco, California. Image by Hunter Crenian / Shutterstock. United States, 2020.
A COVID-19 testing center in San Francisco, California. Image by Hunter Crenian / Shutterstock. United States, 2020.

In 2008, Noha Aboelata founded a community health center in Oakland, California, to help address systemic inequity within the city. These disparities have only grown starker as the center fights against the coronavirus pandemic.

In a Q&A for Nature, Pulitzer Center grantee Amy Maxmen interviews Aboelata about how increased testing capacity won't necessarily help the most marginalized communities in Oakland. "Drive-up testing won't work if people don't have a car," Aboelata tells Maxmen. "Also, some people don't feel comfortable accessing services outside of their community. From our work, we've seen that trust in the health-care system is a big issue, so operations that just pop up aren't going to fly."

But according to Aboelata, testing is still easier than follow-ups with positive cases. "Quarantine and isolation are also challenging situations because some folks who are losing income are already living day-to-day, hand-to-mouth. So, a lot of what we've done is to coordinate delivering food boxes and basic cleaning supplies."

Maxmen is a long-time grantee and Reporting Fellow adviser whose Pulitzer Center-supported reporting projects have covered subjects including archaeological digs in Ethiopia, HIV research in South Africa, and an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She is currently a senior reporter at Nature, and her science writing has been featured in Wired, National Geographic, The New York Times, Newsweek, and other publications.

To read the full story, visit Nature.

RELATED ISSUES

COVID

Issue

COVID-19

COVID-19
Health

Issue

Health

Health

Support our work

Your support ensures great journalism and education on underreported and systemic global issues