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Expanding Access to COVID-19 Tests through US Postal Service Facilities Open Access (recommended)

Descriptions

Resource type(s)
Article
Keyword
COVID-19
optimization
testing
underserved populations
USPS
Rights
Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States

Creator
Singh, Bismark
Risanger, Simon
Morton, David
Pignone, Michael
Meyers, Lauren Ancel
Abstract
Widespread, convenient access to COVID-19 testing has been challenging in the United States. We make a case for provisioning COVID-19 tests through the United States Postal Service (USPS) facilities and demonstrate a simple method for selecting locations to improve access. We provide quantitative evidence that even a subset of USPS facilities could provide broad access, particularly in remote and at-risk communities with limited access to health care. Based on daily travel surveys, census data, locations of USPS facilities, and an established care-seeking model, we estimate that more than 94% of the US population would be willing to travel to an existing USPS facility if warranted. For half of the US population, this would require traveling less than 2.5 miles from home; for 90%, the distance would be less than 7 miles. In Georgia, Illinois, and Minnesota, we estimate that testing at USPS facilities would provide access to an additional 4.1, 3.1, and 1.3 million people and reduce the median travel distance by 3.0, 0.8, and 1.2 miles, respectively, compared with existing testing sites per 28 July 2020. We also discuss the option of distributing test-at-home kits via USPS instead of private carriers. Finally, our proposal provides USPS an opportunity to increase revenues and expand its mission, thus improving its future prospects and relevance.
Singh B, Risanger S, Morton D, Pignone M, Meyers LA. Expanding Access to COVID-19 Tests through US Postal Service Facilities. Medical Decision Making. 2021;41(1):3-8.
Related URL
Publisher
SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC
Date Created
2021-01
Original Identifier
(PMID) 33124494
Language
English
Subject: MESH
COVID-19 Testing
Medically Underserved Area
Postal Service
Subject: Geographic Name
United States
Grants and funding
Financial support for this study was provided in part by the National Institutes of Health under grant NIH R01 AI151176 and grant NIH U01 GM087791, the US Department of Homeland Security under grant 2017-ST-061-QA0001 and Titos Handmade Vodka.
DOI
10.1177/0272989X20969690

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Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 196.8 kB