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Health

CDC Awards Maine $32 Million To Address COVID-19 Related Health Disparities

Beverly Terry shortly after receiving her COVID-19 vaccination. Her husband, Douglas Terry, who is a Vietnam veteran, also was vaccinated and plans on encouraging others to get their vaccine.
Beverly Terry shortly after receiving her COVID-19 vaccination. Her husband, Douglas Terry, who is a Vietnam veteran, also was vaccinated and plans on encouraging others to get their vaccine.

Maine is receiving $32 million in federal grant money to address COVID-19 related health disparities. It's the highest award of any New England state.

The funding is part of a two-year national investment to advance health equity among racial and ethnic minorities, as well as people who live in rural communities.

In the early stages of the pandemic, the rate of COVID-19 cases among Blacks and African Americans in Maine was 20 times higher than the rest of the population. That disparity has since shrunk. Currently, Blacks and African Americans account for 4% of all cases but make up less than 2% of the overall population.

According to a federal press release, the goal of the funding is to improve services to prevent and control infections of COVID-19, as well as increase access to testing and contact tracing.

The next highest amount of grant funds among New England states went to Vermont, at $28 million, followed by New Hampshire, at $24 million