January 17, 2021

Lost wages, lack of transportation among barriers for lower-income Manitobans who need COVID tests

Carrie Friesen isn’t just worried about missing work if she gets COVID-19. She’s worried about losing hours if she has to get tested — again.

“I can’t afford to go get tested. It may be a free test, but who’s going to pay my bills?”

Losing work — and pay — to get tested is a dilemma facing many young people working in the retail and hospitality industries, Friesen said, and it stands to get tougher as cold and flu symptoms become common. 

Friesen, 21, has already gone for COVID-19 tests five times, and the difficulties she’s had just getting to a test site illustrate how hard the pandemic is on lower-income earners.

Friesen now works two part-time retail jobs. She was laid off as a disabilities support worker after her third COVID-19 test because she kept having to take time off, she said.

She can’t afford car payments since

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Transportation barriers to care may increase likelihood of emergency surgical intervention

CHICAGO: Transportation barriers, such as personal access to a vehicle or public transportation, disproportionally affect minority communities, according to results of a new study presented at the virtual American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress 2020.

The study was performed by researchers at the University of Colorado at Aurora who used geographic information systems (GIS) to better understand traffic paths to hospitals offering elective and emergency surgical care throughout Denver. They tracked public transportation routes across census tracts and found areas with higher minority populations have nearly double the travel time burden to health care facilities when using public transportation.

Facilities with acute surgical capacity (emergency department, intensive care unit, and acute care surgery services) were identified within a 20-mile radius of the city center. Travel times were then estimated from the center of each census tract to the nearest facility by the shortest route. Using this method, the researchers

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