The Senate on Tuesday approved roughly $484 billion in new coronavirus relief aid for small businesses, hospitals and community health centers across the nation. The aid package is expected to provide financial relief to Clinica Sierra Vista which serves more than 200,000 patients between Kern and Fresno Counties.
The aid package directs $75 billion to hospitals for reinstatement and provider expenses, and $25 billion to a new coronavirus testing program, along with $825 million for community heath centers. The House is expected to approve the measure Thursday.
Today, California’s more than 1370 community health center sites, including 31 Clinica Sierra Vista locations, provide care to more than 7.2 million people in the state - that’s one in every six Californians and one in every three Medi-Cal patients. Clinica Sierra Vista visits are down nearly 60-percent due to prioritizing urgent patient needs and encouraging non-urgent patients to delay appointments. In addition to that, all Clinica dental practices have been closed except for emergency visits.
"We thank our elected leaders for recognizing the vital role community health centers play in keeping thousands of people healthy," said Brian Harris, CEO for Clinica Sierra Vista. "We continue to offer care and COVID-19 testing to patients regardless of their ability to pay. It's reassuring to know our organization's financial stability is being considered at the highest levels of government as we continue to offer care in the face of revenue hardships."
Clinica Sierra Vista continues to test for COVID-19 at record rates in the the central valley, as of April 21st we have tested more than 1,000 people between Kern and Fresno counties. Nearly all patients have experienced mild symptoms, and our doctors continue to check in with patients who have tested positive on a daily basis.