Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more
To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, get vaccinated as soon as you can and wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
UPDATE
Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.

Health Equity in Action

Health Equity in Action

Health equity is when everyone has the opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This page provides a snapshot of some of CDC’s work with partners to support communities at higher risk for COVID-19. Learn more about how CDC promotes fair access to health during COVID-19 by exploring this page.

HealthEquityinAction

CDC is working with state, territorial, local, and tribal partners, and community-serving organizations, to ensure all public health actions address health disparities for all populations.

Populations and Place-Based Focus

During the COVID-19 response, CDC continues to focus its health equity efforts on these populations of focus. Visit the CDC COVID-19 Response Health Equity Strategy to learn more.

  • People from racial and ethnic minority groups
  • People living in rural or frontier areas
  • People experiencing homelessness
  • Essential and frontline workers
  • People with disabilities
  • People with substance use disorders
  • People who are justice-involved
  • People born outside of the US

COVID-19 Health Equity Projects

Accessible Materials and Culturally Relevant Messages for People with Disabilities Project

Girl reading Braille and using computer

Populations of focus: People with disabilities, caregivers of people with disabilities, and organizations serving people with disabilities

Purpose: Deliver essential COVID-19 information to people with disabilities, their families, and caregivers. The project helps to ensure that COVID-19 guidelines are not only accessible to people with disabilities, but also that they are culturally appropriate and relevant to the challenges people with disabilities face during emergency response situations such as COVID-19. Learn moreexternal icon

Partners: CDC Foundation and Georgia Tech Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation

Campaign to Prevent and Control Infectious Diseases Among Migrant Foreign-born Workers in Protein-Processing Industries – Regional Demonstration Project

Masked group of adults standing at COVID vaccination table

Population of focus: People who work in protein processing (meat, poultry, and seafood) and have limited English proficiency, as well as their families, in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia

Purpose: Improve emergency preparedness and response activities among workers by strengthening partnerships with community-based organizations (CBOs) and increasing CBOs’ capacity to address public health emergencies, including pandemics. Learn moreexternal icon

Partners: Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc., Rebirth, Inc., Comité de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agrícolas, Legal Aid Justice Center, and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 27

CDC Foundation Southern Alliance

It's not over yet. Mask Up

Populations of focus: African American and non-Hispanic Black people in Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi

Purpose: Enlist established and trusted organizations in mobilizing African American and non-Hispanic Black communities at higher risk for COVID-19 illness and death to adopt and sustain COVID-19 preventive and community mitigation strategies. Learn moreexternal icon

Partners: Albany State University, Jackson State University, Tulane University, University of Mississippi Medical Center, and Xavier University of Louisiana

COVID-19 Pregnancy and Infant Surveillance to Direct Public Health Action (Project Spotlight)

Smiling father, mother and baby in bed

Populations of focus: Pregnant people and new parents with infants, and clinicians and organizations that serve them

Purpose: Understand the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant people and infants, to help direct public health action, and inform clinical guidance for the care of affected pregnant people and their infants. Learn more

Partners: State, Territorial, or Local Health Departments; American Academy of Pediatrics; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs; Association of State and Territorial Health Officials; March of Dimes; and National Association of County and City Health Officials

Engaging Faith Leaders to Protect their Congregations and Communities

ITF HEiA faith leaders

Populations of focus: Faith leaders and faith-based organizations

Purpose: Share information, best practices, and lessons learned on engaging faith communities in COVID-19 prevention, including collaborations between faith and government partners and development of resources for faith communities. Learn more

Partners: Christian Caritas Foundation of Nigeria (Nigeria), Christian Health Association of Kenya (Kenya) and Coptic Mission, Catholic Medical Mission Board (Haiti), Mildmay (Uganda), and Circle of Hope (Zambia)

Expand Access to COVID-19 Vaccines for Older Adults and People with Disabilities

Woman in Power Wheelchair walking dog

Populations of focus: People of all ages with disabilities, caregivers, healthcare providers

Purpose: Promote inclusivity and accessibility of COVID-19 vaccines for older adults and persons with disabilities through funding of the Administration for Community Living’s aging and disability networks in every U.S. state and territory; develop the COVID-19 Vaccine Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL)external icon; and enhance national hotlines that assist older adults to find vaccine information, register for vaccine appointments, and connect them with local aging and disability agencies to provide transportation and other support. Learn moreexternal icon

Partners: Administration for Community Living, State Units on Aging and Area Agencies on Aging, Aging and Disability Resource Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Part C Centers for Independent Living, University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Protection and Advocacy Systems, State Councils on Developmental Disabilities, and National Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Improving Maternal and Child Health Services by Counting and Tracking Every Pregnancy During the Outbreak: COVID-19 Pregnancy Wheel

Graphic of pregnant woman holding wheel

Populations of focus: Pregnant people in the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh; pregnant people in northern Uganda; and community health workers who serve these populations

Purpose: Adapting a pocket-sized plastic device typically used to estimate key gestation dates to 1) promote maternal and neonatal health during an outbreak and increase awareness about COVID-19 prevention to improve decision-making among pregnant people, 2) reduce the effects of disease and the number of pregnancy-related deaths among mothers and newborns, and 3) provide community outreach and education while supporting healthy pregnancies. Learn more

Partners: United Nations Population Fund, United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, Ministry of Healthy Uganda, CARE International, and Save the Children

Mask America Challenge

Schoolgirl, wearing mask, writing on dry erase board

Populations of focus: Title 1 school districts and students

Purpose: Distribute cloth masks to 40 million students, teachers, and staff members at schools receiving federal Title I funding. Learn moreexternal icon

Partners: CDC Community Interventions and Critical Populations Task Force, CDC Foundation, United Way, Hanes, and Business Roundtable

National Organization to Strengthen and Support a Network of Immunization Program Managers – Supplemental Funding

Vaccinated African-American woman in clinical setting wearing mask

Populations of focus: African American/Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino American, and Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander adults

Purpose: Offer additional resources to the Association of Immunization Managers to continue managing a Health Equity and Immunization Learning Hub. Provide tailored support, peer-sharing, and group learning opportunities to 31 REACH recipients implementing influenza vaccination activities for people in racial and ethnic minority groups. Funding will expand support to all 36 REACH organizations, if needed, and address COVID-19 vaccination activities in addition to influenza

Partner: Association of Immunization Managers

National Partnership for Preparedness and Rapid Response to Public Health Emergencies Among Agriculture Workers

Farmer in his cereal field

Populations of focus: Migratory and non-US-born agriculture workers

Purpose: Build a sustainable and supportive partnership with organizations serving agriculture workers around the country to enhance CDC and organizations’ capacity to address the ongoing COVID-19 threat, and other future infectious disease emergencies, in agricultural communities. Learn moreexternal icon

Partner: National Center for Farmworker Health

National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants

Lady grocery shopping

Populations of focus: Refugees, immigrants, and migrants (RIM) in the United States

Purpose: Provide a centralized hub where state and local health departments working with RIM communities can access data-driven approaches for effective COVID-19 prevention. Learn moreexternal icon

Partner: University of Minnesota

Optimizing COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control in Clinical Practice

Elderly woman receiving vaccine from healthcare worker

Populations of focus: Health care providers (HCP) serving populations at disproportionate risk of COVID-19

Purpose: Optimize dissemination, adoption, and implementation of COVID-19 infection prevention and control guidance among HCPs to reduce transmission. Learn moreexternal icon

Partner: Infectious Diseases Society of America

Partnering for Vaccine Equity

Woman receiving the vaccination

Populations of focus: Racial and ethnic minority groups (African American/Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American, Hispanic/Latinx American, and Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander adults)

Purpose: Build the evidence base of effective interventions for reducing racial and ethnic disparities in adult vaccination, as well as make an immediate impact on racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 and influenza vaccination rates, by funding national organizations to implement tailored education, outreach, and access strategies. Learn more

Partners: Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Association of American Indian Physicians, Association of Immunization Managers, CDC Foundation, Community Catalyst, Conference of National Black Churches, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, National Association of Community Health Centers, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Council of Negro Women, National Council of Urban Indian Health, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association, National Minority Quality Forum, National Urban League, Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (and various Tribal Epidemiology Centers), UnidosUS, and Urban Institute

Promoting Vaccination Among Essential Workers

You are essential. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine adds one more layer of protection

Populations of focus: Essential and frontline workers

Purpose: Support vaccine implementation for essential workers through linkages with workers, industry, labor, and other partners. Learn more

Partners: Health Action Alliance, National Occupational Research Agenda Sector Councils (Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing; Construction; Healthcare and Social Assistance; Manufacturing; Mining; Oil and Gas Extraction; Public Safety; Services; Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities; and Wholesale and Retail Trade), labor unions, trade associations, and federal and jurisdictional government

Providing Access to Sanitation Stations During COVID-19

Close Up Of Medical Staff Washing Hands

Populations of focus: People experiencing homelessness in southern Nevada, central Florida, and Puerto Rico

Purpose: Set up handwashing stations and portable toilets for people experiencing homelessness. Access to handwashing supplies and restrooms can be challenging for this population. Learn moreexternal icon

Partners: CDC Foundation and Clean the World Foundation

Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) – COVID-19 Supplemental Funding for COVID-19 and Flu Vaccination Program

Vaccinated Hispanic woman with mask

Populations of focus: African American/Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American, Hispanic/Latinx, and Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander adults

Purpose: Build the evidence base of effective interventions for reducing racial and ethnic disparities in adult vaccination. To make an immediate impact on racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 and influenza vaccination rates by funding national organizations to implement tailored education, outreach, and access strategies

Partners: Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Allegheny County, American Heart Association, California Department of Public Health, African American Health Equity Task Force, City of Hartford, City of Miami Gardens, City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, Latino Education Institute at Worcester State University, County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Services, Cuyahoga County District Board of Health, DeKalb County Board of Health, Eastern Michigan University, Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Health Partners Initiative DBA Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln, Houston County Board of Health/North Central Health District, Mississippi Public Health Institute, Leadership Council for Healthy Communities, Lowell Community Health Center, Montgomery Area Community Wellness Coalition, Multnomah County Health Department, National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, Partners In Health, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, REACH-NARTC, Presbyterian Healthcare Services, Public Health Advocates, RAO: Rosedale Assistance & Opportunities, Seattle-King County Public Health Department, Southern Connecticut State University, Southern Nevada Health District, The Institute for Family Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and Young Men’s Christian Association of Coastal Georgia, Inc.

Toolkit for People with Disabilities

Girl showing her vaccinated arm

Populations of focus: People with disabilities and care providers of people with disabilities

Purpose: Provide COVID-19 guidance and resources for people with disabilities and care providers. Learn more

Partners: FEMA, CDC Foundation, Georgia Tech Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation, University of North Carolina Center for Literacy and Disability Studies, DeafLink, and National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services

Using Event-Based Web-Scraping Methods and Bidirectional Transformers to Characterize COVID-19 Outbreaks in Food Production and Retail Settings

Cutting meat in slaughterhouse. Butcher cutting pork at the meat manufacturing.

Population of focus: Essential workers

Purpose: Apply machine learning-based web-scraping and a RoBERTa (A Robustly Optimized Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers Pretraining Approach) language model to find, quantify, and describe outbreaks among food workers in the supply chain via local news reports. Learn moreexternal icon

Partner: Georgia Tech Research Institute

Project Spotlight: COVID-19 Pregnancy and Infant Surveillance to Direct Public Health Action

Smiling father, mother and baby in bed

Populations of focus: Pregnant people and new parents with infants, and clinicians and organizations that serve them

Purpose: Understand the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant people and infants to help direct public health action and inform clinical guidance for the care of affected pregnant people and their infants

Partners: State, Territorial, or Local Health Departments; American Academy of Pediatrics; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs; Association of State and Territorial Health Officials; March of Dimes; and National Association of County and City Health Officials

Project website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/toolkits/pregnant-people-and-new-parents.html

Description: CDC’s Pregnancy and Infant Linked Outcomes Team (PILOT) is supporting multiple efforts to understand the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy and infants, including health disparities observed in COVID-19-related health outcomes. This helps inform communication product development and clinical guidance for the care of affected pregnant people and infants

Early impact: PILOT set up public reporting of COVID-19 cases and deaths among pregnant people and worked to improve quality of those data over time. Analyses of these surveillance data directly informed the change in November 2020 in risk categories for pregnant people from “might be” at increased risk to “are” at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. PILOT continues to inform clinical recommendations for pregnant people, including clinical guidance and patient management strategies of the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and World Health Organization COVID-19 vaccine plans. These data are updated weekly on CDC’s COVID Data Tracker

PILOT also adapted Surveillance for Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies Network (SET-NET) to collect data on pregnant people with SARS-CoV-2 infection and their infants through 6 months of age. PILOT’s first publication on these data in November 2020 found that pregnant people with COVID-19 may be at increased risk of having a preterm delivery. Since the first publication, SET-NET data from participating jurisdictions are updated monthly on CDC’s COVID Data Tracker

Analyses of these data have documented racial and ethnic disparities in both risk for infection and disease severity among pregnant people, highlighting the need to address potential drivers of risk in these populations. CDC and health departments have used these data to inform the development of recommendations and communication materials tailored for pregnant people and new parents  

Additional Resources

CDC has COVID-19 resources for these Health Equity populations of focus

More on Health Equity

Featured Webinars

Communications

External Resources