CDPH Unveils COVID-19 Health Equity Metric

On Wednesday, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released details of the state’s new health equity metric which is part of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework. According to the state, the equity metric is intended to help guide counties in their continuing efforts to more effectively fight COVID-19, including through more intensive efforts to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among Californians who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

Under the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, a county must meet the equity metric and/or demonstrate targeted investments to eliminate disparities in COVID-19 transmission to advance to the next, less restrictive tier. Notably, counties with a population greater than 106,000 residents must ensure the test positivity rates in its most disadvantaged neighborhoods do not significantly fall behind its overall county test positivity rate and submit a plan outlining plans to invest funding to interrupt disease transmission in disproportionately impacted communities. Additionally, counties with demonstrated declining case rates and test positivity rates for both the countywide and most disadvantaged neighborhoods that fall into two tiers below the current tier may advance to the next, less restrictive tier.

Given data limitations in small and rural jurisdictions, counties with a population of fewer than or equal to 106,000 must submit a plan that defines its disproportionately impacted populations, specifies the percent of COVID-19 cases in these populations, and outlines plans to invest funding to decrease disease transmission in these communities.

To assist all counties in developing best practices in achieving this metric, CDPH is launching a Health Equity Technical Assistance Team to provide additional support and resources to jurisdictions.

Additional information on the equity metric is available here. A press statement from CDPH is available here.