COVID-19 Practice and Patient Care

     APTA Main COVID-19 Page
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


From APTA

APTA Resource for Telehealth Coding and Billing
Billing physical therapist services that have been provided through telehealth is an emerging challenge, partly because there are few precedents on which to base claims review. This snapshot of the current trends in billing and coding for physical therapist services provided via telehealth and provides basic recommendations.

New CPT Code Available to PTs Could Help Offset Coronavirus-Related Expenses
The new code is aimed at additional supplies and staff time devoted to stopping spread of the virus.

From CDC

U.S. COVID-19 Cases Surpass 12 Million, More than 255,000 Deaths
Total coronavirus cases have reached more than 12 million as of Nov. 23, adding 1.18 million new cases in seven days, according the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker. Over 255,000 people have died from the virus so far.

CDC Advises Staying Home for the Holidays
If you want to protect yourself and others from contracting COVID-19 over the holidays, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention message is: Stay home. If you are considering gathering, CDC has a list of detailed considerations and precautions.

From Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

Model Predicts Nearly Half a Million COVID-19 Deaths by March
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is projecting over 470,000 COVID-related deaths by March 1, with infections peaking between late December and mid-January.

New In Research

Delirium in Older Adults May Be "Primary or Sole Symptom" of COVID-19
Researchers in JAMA found that 28% of 817 older patients presented to the emergency department with delirium, and 37% of delirious patients had no other typical COVID-19 symptoms.

HIV Rehab Offers Lessons for COVID-19 Rehab
Authors of a November PTJ Point of View offer six lessons learned from HIV rehabilitation that can be applied to rehabilitation of COVID-19 patients.

"Long-Term Persistence" of Infected Lung Cells, Structural Damage, May Be Behind "Long COVID"
Authors write: "Long-term persistence of infected cells and the major structural changes detectable in the lungs after several weeks from first diagnosis could represent the anatomical substrate for long-term complications in infected patients who survive the acute phase."

Some Consumer-Grade Masks May Filter Aerosol Particles as Well as Non-respirator Medical Masks
In a small study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers studied the fitted filtration efficiency of a variety of nylon, cotton, and propylene masks, with and without modifications, and compared them with medical grade masks. Nylon masks performed as well as or better than non-respirator medical procedure masks.

Healthcare Access Drives Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Outcomes, Not Comorbidities
Findings in a study published in JAMA Network Open suggest that "neighborhood characteristics may explain the disproportionately higher out-of-hospital COVID-19 mortality among Black individuals." Black and Hispanic patients were more likely than white patients to test positive for COVID-19, but among all patients hospitalized from the disease, Black patients were less likely than white patients to have severe illness and to die or be discharged to hospice."

AAP Now Recommends Children Wear Masks During Sports Activities
The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its return-to-sport guidelines to recommend that children wear masks during practice, competition, and on the sidelines. The only exceptions are for gymnastics, wrestling, and cheerleading, where masks "may get caught on objects and become a choking hazard or accidently impair vision," and swimming, where a wet mask could impair breathing.

Recommended Resources

APTA Resources CDC

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. Maryland Responds, previously known as the Maryland Professional Volunteer Corps, is administered by the Maryland Department of Health (MDH)
  • 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. 
  • PT Volunteer Roster sign-up for non-members – If you would like to encourage any non-member colleagues to sign up, please let them know that non-members must first create an APTA user ID on APTA.org before signing into APTA Engage.
  • 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 APTA.org. Please help spread the word in your medical communities!
  • COVID-19 Stories – APTA would like to hear from members about your experiences on the frontlines of this pandemic. Please consider sharing your story with other members by selecting this opportunity or by contacting Michelle Vanderhoff, APTA lead editor, directly.