Take control in
this new normal

Take control
in this new
normal

Be an advocate for the ongoing
health of your community.

Comprehensive testing for improved community health

Comprehensive
testing for improved
community health

The pandemic has taught us the importance of taking proactive steps to protect health and increase access to reliable diagnostic testing. You have the power to ensure we maintain the progress made in helping our communities adequately respond to health crises now and in the future.

Pandemic ripple effects

The COVID-19 pandemic created impacts beyond the infections themselves. Delays in care and economic hardships further impacted our physical, emotional, and community health.

Personal health drives
community health

Routine health visits decreased during the pandemic. Getting back to routine check-ups, sick visits, and vaccinations is not just personal care, it is also care for the community.

How has the pandemic changed health care?

The pandemic has affected physical, mental, and community health. For example, measures like social distancing and quarantining kept us safe from infection, but created isolation and decreased regular doctor visits. The consequences of the hidden pandemic on communities—especially communities of color—was far-reaching.

Physical health

Because of the pandemic, a decrease in routine testing and screening caused other health problems.

Mental health

Due to isolation and economic hardships, the pandemic also impacted our emotional well-being.

Community health

The pandemic magnified problems that were already present in underserved communities.

Physical health

Because of the pandemic, a decrease in routine testing and screening caused other health problems.

Mental health

Due to isolation and economic hardships, the pandemic also impacted our emotional well-being.

Community health

The pandemic magnified problems that were already present in underserved communities.

Decreases in testing and new diagnoses means
that treatment could be delayed.

  • 64% decrease in diagnostic tests for heart disease1
  • 46% decrease in new cancer diagnoses2
  • 39% decrease in reported cases of key STIs3
  • 70% decrease in new type 2 diabetes diagnoses4
Due to delayed routine care and screenings,
many Americans are at greater risk for having an undiagnosed condition. Returning to routine care is a critical part of returning to our normal routines. After all, detecting disease at its earliest phase provides the best chance to effectively treat it.

Alarming trends reveal the emotional stress caused
by the pandemic.

  • 34% of patients were diagnosed with neurological or mental health disorders 6 months post COVID-19 infection5
  • 31% increase in symptoms of anxiety or depression reported in US adults during the pandemic6
  • 29% increase in drug overdose deaths7
The drug epidemic has been a persistent problem in America that has only worsened during the pandemic. People who experience chronic pain and mental illness are at particular risk for drug overuse and misuse. Proven diagnostic and treatment strategies, including routine drug monitoring, can help address this critical issue impacting communities.
COVID-19 rates for Black and Hispanic or Latino persons compared to White persons8

  • 2.8x more likely to be hospitalized
  • 2-2.3x more likely to die

Social determinants of health disproportionately impact communities of color—a truth that has become even more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. Racial and ethnic disparities impact baseline health, risk of exposure, and access to care, which results in disproportionately higher incidence of infection, complications, and death. Equitable access to reliable diagnostic testing is essential as we work to build long-term solutions that address these health disparities.

Uncovering the hidden pandemics

Read about the importance of addressing significant health issues that disproportionately affect communities of color and vulnerable populations.
Hidden pandemics

Download to learn more

Hidden pandemics

Download to learn more

How does routine care protect communities?

Throughout the pandemic, many people have had to postpone their routine care, like annual check-ups and flu shots. When you compound that trend across a population over an extended period of time, you can have a community health crisis at hand. As we return to regular activities, it is important that we get back to routine health care to prevent illness, protect others, and manage any long-term health effects from COVID-19 infections.

Manage
Post-COVID syndrome

Having COVID-19 can cause long-term health effects.

Protect the vulnerable

Vaccines and testing help keep communities safe.

Prevent illness

Regular exams and testing help communities stay healthy.

Manage
Post-COVID syndrome

The pandemic magnified problems that were already present in underserved communities.

Protect the vulnerable

Due to isolation and economic hardships, the pandemic also impacted our emotional well-being.

Prevent illness

Regular exams and testing help communities stay healthy.

Secondary health issues may persist after COVID-19.

  • 10-30% of the people who have had COVID-19 develop Post-COVID Syndrome (also known as
    “Long COVID”)
  • 13% of people with Post-COVID Syndrome have symptoms that last over 4 weeks

It is important for those who have had COVID-19 to follow up with their doctor to get help managing any lasting symptoms. Long-term health effects of COVID-19 are still being researched, so following up also helps the medical community gain a better understanding of this phenomena.

Infections other than COVID-19 can increase as communities start gathering after vaccinations.

  • Flu activity was unusually low throughout the 2020-2021 flu season11, but is expected to increase this year as social distancing and mask wearing decreases
  • As of March 2021, cases of RSV have begun to rise, potentially due to decreases in COVID-19 mitigation measures12

As more people get their COVID-19 vaccines and reduce social distancing and mask wearing, communities may become more susceptible to other common viruses, such as the flu and RSV. It is important for individuals to keep up with recommended vaccinations to protect themselves and others. And when someone does fall sick, they can talk to their doctor about getting tested to understand what illness they have, and how to best manage their care while protecting those around them.

Fears of contracting COVID-19 kept many from continuing routine care.

  • 60% of Americans deferred care during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 44% fewer child screening services that assess physical and cognitive development occurred during the pandemic10

Routine care means seeing the doctor whether
sick or well. With regular check-ups for adults and
children, a doctor can monitor health, prevent
long-term health symptoms from developing,
and shorten the time to getting better.

Understanding Post-COVID Syndrome

Post-COVID syndrome is a term that describes illness in people who report lasting effects of a COVID-19 infection. The ongoing nature of this illness can negatively impact the quality of life for the affected individual.13
Post-COVID Syndrome White Paper

Download to learn more

Post-COVID Syndrome
White Paper

Download to learn more

Take Action

Interested in joining the Alliance? Become a member and commit to the
ongoing health of our communities.
  1. Einstein AJ, Shaw LJ, Hirschfeld C, et al. International impact of COVID-19 on the diagnosis of heart disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2021;77(2):173-185. doi:10.1016j.jacc.2020.10.054
  2. Kaufman HW, Chen Z, Niles J, Fesko Y. Changes in the number of US patients with newly identified cancer before and during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(8):e2017267. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.17267
  3. Stulpin, C. Pandemic causes ‘mass disruptions’ in STI field. Infectious Disease News Helio. November 23, 2020. Accessed April 26, 2021. https://www.healio.com/news/infectious-disease/20201116/pandemic-causes-mass-disruptions-in-std-field
  4. Carr MJ, Wright AK, Leelarathna L, et al. Impact of COVID-19 on diagnoses, monitoring and mortality in people with type 2 diabetes: a UK-wide cohort study involving 14 million people in primary care. medRxiv. Epub February 14, 2021. doi:10.1101/2020.10.25.20200675
  5. Taquet M, Geddes JR, Husain M, Luciano S, Harrison PJ. 6-month neurological and psychiatric outcomes in 236,379 survivors of COVID-19: a retrospective cohort study using electronic health records. Lancet Psychiatry. 2021;8(5):416-427. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(21)00084-5
  6. Abbott A. COVID’s mental-health toll: how scientists are tracking a surge in depression. Nature. Published February 3, 2021. Accessed April 28, 2021. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00175-z
  7. CDC. Vital statistics rapid release. Provisional drug overdose death counts. Updated June 9, 2021. Accessed June 21, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm
  8. CDC. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). COVID-19 Hospitalization and Death by Race/Ethnicity. Updated July 16, 2021. Accessed Aug 6, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/investigations-discovery/hospitalization-death-by-race-ethnicity.html
  9. New Quest Diagnostics Health Trends™ survey reveals COVID-19 testing hesitancy among Americans, with 3 of 4 avoiding a test when they believed they needed one. Quest Diagnostics. News release. December 9, 2020. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://newsroom.questdiagnostics.com/2020-12-09-New-Quest-Diagnostics-Health-Trends-TM-Survey-Reveals-COVID-19-Testing-Hesitancy-Among-Americans-With-3-of-4-Avoiding-a-Test-When-They-Believed-They-Needed-One
  10. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Fact Sheet: Service use among Medicaid & CHIP Beneficiaries aged 18 and under during COVID-19. Updated Sep 23, 2020. Accessed Aug 6, 2021. https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/fact-sheet-service-use-among-medicaid-chip-beneficiaries-age-18-and-under-during-covid-19
  11. CDC. 2020-2021 Flu Season Summary. July 22, 2021. Accessed Aug 9, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2020-2021.htm
  12. Harvard Health Publishing. Respiratory virus cases tick upward: what parents should know. Updated July 19, 2021. Accessed Aug 6, 2021. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/respiratory-virus-cases-tick-upward-what-parents-should-know-202107192548
  13. Davis HE, Assaf GS, McCorkell L, et al. Characterizing long COVID in an international cohort: 7 months of symptoms and their impact. EClinicalMedicine. 2021;38:101019. doi:10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.101019
Use the Right Test at the Right Time

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Antibody testing determines the presence of antibodies that recognize markers of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, indicating that the body previously had been infected. In many diseases, the presence of antibodies confers immunity, but scientists have not verified if this is true for COVID-19. See the glossary section of our website to learn about the difference between Nucleocapsid Protein Antibody Tests and Spike Protein Antibody Tests.

PCR testing is used to accurately detect active infections. It is a type of molecular test and considered the gold standard for testing. PCR is the most commonly used nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT).

Antigen testing is used to identify active infections. It expands testing capacity as a fast, reliable, and affordable screening and diagnostic option.