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  • APTA Offers General and Pediatric-Focused COVID-19 Guidance for PTs, PTAs, Students

    Topics addressed in the new resources include when a PT should tell patients to cancel an outpatient visit and factors to consider when providing remote school-based services as part of an IEP.

    Two new resources from APTA can help PTs, PTAs, and students looking for more detailed, profession-specific guidance related to providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic: one focused on general PT management of patients, and a second that specifically addresses pediatric physical therapy.

    The general guidance resource provides perspectives on issues such as when a PT should tell patients not to come in for their outpatient PT visits, as well as management of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in inpatient facilities, home health settings, experiencing post-intensive care syndrome, and in need of wound care. The guidance also includes information on preparation of physical space to reduce infection risk, use of PPE, and helping patients to stay active while at home.

    The pediatric physical therapy resource is directed at PTs and PTAs who manage these patients, especially in school settings. Topics include school closings and IEP services, remote learning, and a discussion of factors that need to be considered in providing pediatric physical therapy via telehealth.

    Both guidance documents will join frequently updated resources available on the APTA Coronavirus webpage, which include practice guidelines for physical therapy and COVID-19 in the acute hospital settings.


    • Okay this is getting frustrating please be specific when you were addressing especially about PTA doing Telehealth is there so much misinformation out there a lot of people are confused if PTA can either do it or not can you please be specific especially with the state of Florida a simple yes or no would be greatly appreciated

      Posted by JAN MASON on 3/31/2020 9:00 AM

    • I find the guidance on when to tell patients to cancel their outpatient appointments inadequate. We have known from the very beginning that people are infectious and can spread the virus BEFORE experiencing symptoms. This is one reason it has spread so rapidly. ALL outpatient treatment should be currently postponed. As hospitals overflow in the next few weeks, potentially still infectious patients but less critical patients will need to be moved out to make more room. Those who will need in-patient rehab (estimated 30% of Covid-19 patients per JAMA 3/25) may be sent to SNF's who are unprepared. ALL treatment for inpatient should be done 1:1 in patient rooms with therapists fully gowned, gloved, with masks and goggles. This is what they are doing in Germany.

      Posted by Erin Esterly on 3/31/2020 11:01 AM

    • I agree with Jan and Erin's comments. Outpatient treatments should be suspended. A family member currently works in the front office of an patient practice and every day they are getting calls that current patients are testing positive. The practice's response is to send that patient's therapist home for 2 weeks. Really? They are currently down about 15 therapists due to this pathetic stop measure. What about everyone else that this positive patient has come in contact with? What about the equipment? I get it you want people to maintain their jobs but you really can't tell me that after years of providing such services you don't have a general fund reserve an instance like this. Let's face it, it comes down to money. Two or three weeks of being closed, to ultimately save lives, is not going to break you as a business. Not a business who has been receiving millions for services in the past few years. It's time for APTA to step it up and make some difficult decisions and actually provide some leadership.

      Posted by Concerned Citizen on 4/2/2020 2:11 PM

    • I am glad to see discussion and comments in this article. I am an outpatient PT and am looking for recommendations or guidelines for what I deem non-essential patient treatment. The owner of the clinic has been working and seeing patients without break, despite sending 4 PTs on stay-at-home orders in order to keep the business alive. Now I am asked to return to work, after 2 weeks of staying home but the order remains in place until May 4th (today is Apr 3rd). I hesitate to return to work due to the responsibility that we all have to stay at home, but I also do not want to risk my job or my loyalty to providing care to patients in need. I had hoped and expected the APTA to put out specific guidelines for providing care in outpatient PT setting.

      Posted by confused on 4/3/2020 2:00 PM

    • I work in a school setting. I am just trying to investigate further in regards to my license security in state of Massachusetts. Thanks in advance

      Posted by Maria on 5/5/2020 2:56 PM

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