Rep. Cisneros and OC Reps Press OCHCA for More Information on COVID-19 Testing Disparities

June 26, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Representatives Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39), Mike Levin (CA-49), Katie Porter (CA-45), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), and Linda Sanchez (CA-38) sent a letter to the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) pressing for more information regarding testing disparities between Orange County and other counties. Click here to read the full letter.

“Fast, accessible, and widespread testing is critical to protecting public health and preventing a resurgence as we continue to reopen. Ensuring accessible testing will not only reassure the public on behalf of businesses seeking to reopen, but will also support the contract tracing needed to control future outbreaks,” wrote the Members. “We urge all parties to acknowledge this gap in testing and work to increase testing utilization and improve communication with the public. We appreciate the County’s recent efforts to use funding provided by the federal government through the bipartisan CARES Act to launch a community outreach and advertising initiative to increase awareness of free COVID-19 testing options, but we believe that additional steps are necessary to ensure that all residents can conveniently access no-cost testing in Orange County.”

Last month, the Orange County Congressional Delegation requested information from the OCHCA regarding the County’s low COVID-19 testing volume in comparison with other counties. They received both a briefing and a written response to their inquiries, but constituents continue to face barriers to testing, particularly in traditionally underserved communities. Representatives Levin, Cisneros, Porter, and Lowenthal conducted surveys of their OC constituents and found that of those who wanted a test, 62.2 percent had not gotten one because they were denied or did not know how to get one.