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Accessibility, COVID-19, testing, inequality, GIS



Massive and rapid testing is crucial for containing the spread of COVID-19. Health and policy planners must ensure that access to and uptake of SARS-CoV-2 testing is adequate and equitable. This study measures the spatial accessibility to testing sites in Florida at the census tract level at the end of May 2020, using the 2-step floating catchment area method that integrates both driving and walking modes. Accessibility scores were found to be heterogeneous across geographic regions and among different groups of people. In particular, many rural areas were in a testing desert. While people in larger cities tended to have better accessibility to testing, many did not have adequate accessibility at that time due to both capacity limitations and spatial factors. In particular, people without access to private vehicles and the elderly faced disadvantages in accessibility to testing sites even in urban areas. However, Black and low-income groups were disproportionally concentrated in neighbourhoods with above-average accessibility due to their closer proximity to testing sites. These results suggest that increased efforts are needed to reach vulnerable populations, including the elderly and those without private vehicles.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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Annals of GIS, v. 20, issue 4, p. 319-327