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Author Notes:

Emily S. Pingel, Department of Sociology, Emory University, Tarbutton Hall Room 225, 1555 Dickey Drive, Atlanta, GA 30030, USA. Email: epingel@emory.edu

The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


Research Funding:

The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was funded by the Fulbright Commission and the National Security Education Program. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


  • community health promotion
  • emergency
  • neighborhood
  • primary care
  • risk and crisis communication
  • urban health

Committing to Continuity: Primary Care Practices During COVID-19 in an Urban Brazilian Neighborhood


Journal Title:



Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Decreased engagement in preventive services, including vaccination, during the COVID-19 pandemic represents a grave threat to global health. We use the case of the Bom Retiro Public Health Clinic in São Paulo, Brazil, to underscore how continuity of care is not only feasible, but a crucial part of health as a human right. The long-standing relationship between the clinic and neighborhood residents has facilitated ongoing management of physical and mental health conditions. Furthermore, we demonstrate how the clinic’s history of confronting infectious diseases has equipped it to adapt preventive services to meet patients’ needs during the pandemic. Our academic–community partnership used a multidisciplinary approach, relying on analysis of historical data, ethnographic data, and direct clinical experience. We identify specific prevention strategies alongside areas for improvement. We conclude that the clinic serves as a model for continuity of care in urban settings during a pandemic.

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© 2020 Society for Public Health Education

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