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.
Position Paper: Expanded Telehealth Access Act of 2021
This position paper outlines the American Physical Therapy Association's support of the Expanded Telehealth Access Act of 2021 that would add PTs and PTAs in private practice, and facility-based outpatient therapy settings as permanent authorized providers of telehealth under the Medicare program.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Physical Therapy Profession
The COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupted the physical therapy profession, even as vaccine distribution offered signs of progress. APTA continues to monitor the effects of the pandemic and has compiled a report with data from the last year. This report shows that, while recovery has begun, much of our profession is still seeking a return to pre-pandemic norms.

News From CDC & FDA

The Latest News on the Delta Variant and What We Know About the Science
On July 27, 2021, CDC released updated guidance on the need for urgently increasing COVID-19 vaccination coverage and a recommendation for everyone in areas of substantial or high transmission to wear a mask in public indoor places, even if they are fully vaccinated. CDC issued this new guidance due to several concerning developments and newly emerging data signals
Vaccine Effectiveness in Nursing Home Residents Declined With Delta Variant
According to CDC, 2 doses of mRNA vaccines were 74.7% effective against infection among nursing home residents from March to May 2021. However, during June/July, when the Delta variant became predominant, the vaccines' effectiveness "declined significantly" to 53.1%. Recommendations for considering 3rd dose for individuals residing in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
FDA Approves Pfizer-BioNtech Vaccine
On Aug. 23, the FDA approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty, for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

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 APTA.org. Please help spread the word in your medical communities!
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.
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.