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CDPH Announces Grant and Technical Assistance Program to Increase Access to COVID-19 Treatment in Underserved Communities

Date: August 31, 2022
Number: NR22-132

SACRAMENTO – To better address health disparities for communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and support those with barriers to accessing related therapeutic care, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced the launch of its COVID-19 Test to Treat Equity Grant Program. COVID-19 treatment greatly reduces risk of hospitalization and death for those at risk of severe COVID-19, but many communities still are not able to access these life-saving medications.

By engaging with community-based health care systems CDPH expects more than 300 providers will create expedited access to COVID-19 treatment to communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

"Nearly three years into this pandemic, we now have more tools than ever before to protect ourselves against death and hospitalization from COVID-19, including effective vaccines, access to testing, and highly effective drugs," said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. "These grants are an important component to the state's COVID-19 SMARTER Plan and will support more equitable access to COVID-19 treatment, particularly in those communities that continue to face difficulty accessing these life-saving medications."

CDPH encourages all organizations eligible for a grant to apply which includes:

  • Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) and FQHC Look-alikes 
  • Community clinics, rural health clinics, free clinics 
  • Indian Health Service (IHS)/Tribal Health Clinics 
  • Clinics operated by county or city health systems or public health systems
  • Providers not listed above but are recommended by their Health Department

A subset of grantees will also receive technical assistance and monthly coaching from the Center for Care Innovations. More information and application materials are available at

The COVID-19 Test to Treat Equity Grant Program was created as part of California's SMARTER Plan, with the goal of further increasing access for Californians in underserved communities to vital therapeutic treatment that helps lower risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

The program's first application cycle will open on August 31, 2022, and will continue through September 30, 2022. CDPH has allocated approximately $59 million for the Test to Treat Equity Grant Program through June 2023. The program will be administered by Physicians for a Healthy California and overseen by CDPH and an advisory committee comprised of state health partners.

For more information, visit or email

Existing Test to Treat Programs

Test to Treat sites can be found across the state, providing individuals an opportunity to get tested for COVID-19 and receive medication if eligible. You can find locations across California here. California has also partnered with OptumServe to provide free, confidential COVID-19 testing and free assessment for medications - especially for those who have difficulty getting connected to a healthcare provider quickly, including those who are uninsured or underinsured, regardless of documentation status. These sites can be found here.

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