COVID-19 Practice and Patient Care

Official guidance and best practices change rapidly as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve.

Check back frequently for updates. APTA and the Maryland Chapter are curating critical advice from trusted sources such as the CDC and CMS in addition to developing resources to support you during the pandemic.

Latest News

News from APTA

Physical Therapist Management of Patients With or Recovering From COVID-19
The following information addresses many of your concerns, for outpatient, home health, long-term care, acute care, and school-based settings, as well as in the areas of post-intensive care syndrome, post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2, and wound care, and provides recommendations for helping your patients stay active while they're at home.
Researchers Say Impact of Pandemic on Delivery of PT for TKA, THA was 'Limited'
Researchers who tracked rates of PT delivered to THA patients and TKA patients during the COVID-19 pandemic found that session frequency remained about the same as rates before the pandemic — average of 2 sessions per week, with a fairly similar distribution of duration times. The transition to mostly remote delivery of PT resulted in patients experiencing "similar or better" outcomes related to pain reduction, muscle strength, and function, according to authors.
Chronic LBP Study Modified Due to Pandemic Finds Promisefor PT Delivered Via Teleconference
Researchers assessed outcomes of 126 patients with chronic low back pain who enrolled in a telehealth version of a protocol known as OPTIMIZE, originally employed as part of an in-person clinical trial. At 26 weeks, participants reported an average 8.44-point drop on the Owswestry disability index, from 40.21 to 31.77. Nonparticipants dropped from 42.76 to 37.65 on average.

News From CDC & HHS

U.S. COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations, on the Rise Again
Total coronavirus cases in the United States have reached 89,329,839 as of July 17, according to the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker. The seven-day average of new cases is 124,348 as of July 17, an upward trend from a mid-June rate of about 103,00. Deaths are also on an uptick with a 336 seven-day average as of July 17, up from a 276 seven-day average a month earlier. The death total from COVID-19 is now estimated at 1,019,210.
Public Health Emergency Extended Into October
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra announced that the nationwide public health emergency is being extended for another 90 days. The continuation of the PHE means that, among other contingencies, the use of telehealth by PTs and PTAs can continue under Medicare. The new expiration date for the PHE is Oct. 13, 2022. This is the 10th renewal of the PHE since it was first declared on Jan. 27, 2020.

Opportunities Related to COVID-19

Maryland Medical Reserves Corp
The Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a community-based, civilian, volunteer program that helps build the public health infrastructure and response capabilities of communities in Maryland. Maryland Responds is composed of dedicated Responders who stand ready to volunteer their skills, expertise and time to support ongoing public health initiatives and to assist during emergencies.
PT Volunteer Roster
Add your name to a roster of PTs, PTAs, and students interested in helping if needs arise at a facility near you. Follow updates on this initiative by following #ptcovid19 on Twitter. A PTCovid19 website will be live soon.
Note that facilities must request assistance prior to being able to match volunteers to specific needs.
Volunteer Needs for Facilities
Being able to match volunteers on the roster to local opportunities will be dependent on facilities letting us know their needs. If you know of a facility in need of volunteers, please direct folks to request volunteer assistance through the link on Please help spread the word in your medical communities!