Today, APTA joins the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in calling on President Biden, his administration, and Congress to establish a national plan to address the needs of the growing number of individuals who have post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infections, or PASC — which previously has been referred to as "long COVID" and with those experiencing it known as "COVID long-haulers."
This plan must provide a national infrastructure to establish best practices and strategies to address the array of interventions that individuals with PASC will need. This plan must ensure equitable access to care for all people. This plan must fund scientific exploration to better understand the condition and its effects.
Those impacted by PASC often experience fatigue, pain, and mobility challenges. In addition, people with PASC have significant cognitive, neurological, cardiac, vascular, and respiratory issues limiting function, activities, and participation in daily living skills. Physical therapy is a critical part of the services required to address these sequelae.
Addressing PASC will require us to help our country move forward from this pandemic just as we aided the recovery from polio decades ago. It will require us to collaborate with our fellow health professionals in a multidisciplinary approach. It will require us to demonstrate our value through quality care based on the best available evidence.
In the meantime, there are many actions we must take to bring an end to the pandemic. I encourage the physical therapy community to continue to follow CDC guidance and encourage vaccination among those they treat, consistent with APTA's support of CDC recommended vaccination schedules.
Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants help people with impairments and challenges maximize their quality of life. People with PASC need our expertise and care. APTA stands ready to collaborate with the Biden administration, Congress, and our health professional colleagues to promote their recovery.