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APTA report on COVID-19's impact, Paycheck Protection Program help, CMS guidance on reopening, and more.

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From APTA

APTA Releases Report on Impact of COVID-19 on the Profession
The report, titled "Impact of COVID-19 on the Physical Therapy Profession,” is based on survey results from 6,500 PTs and PTAs across the country, and it makes clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacted a literal cost on PTs and PTAs. According to APTA, 44% of PTs and 54% of PTAs experienced decreased income during the health crisis, with furloughs affecting 17% of PTs and 27% of PTAs. 

APTA Presses for Agency Changes That Outlast the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Trump administration's Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery executive order called on all federal agencies to consider what could be done to create more efficient, responsive, and effective systems to help steer the country through the COVID-19 pandemic. APTA seized the opportunity and provided feedback to the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, Defense, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, and Education, as well as the Social Security Administration. The letters cover a range of issues but share a common theme: leveraging the emergency order as an opportunity to improve patient care and public health into the future.

APTA Publishes Consumer Resource on Post-Intensive Care Syndrome on ChoosePT.com
As individuals recover from the acute effects of COVID-19, they may experience physical impairment, problems with cognition, or even mental health as a result of their stay in the intensive care unit. To help educate the public about PICS, APTA published a consumer-friendly explainer, "What Is Post-Intensive Care Syndrome? A Physical Therapist’s Perspective."

From the U.S. Small Business Administration

New "EZ" and Revised Paycheck Protection Program Applications Now Available
A more borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness application has been created that requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers. In addition to this new “EZ” application, the full application has been revised to be less complicated.

Disaster Loan and Advance Access Reopened
The SBA has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Advance program portal to apply for emergency assistance to small businesses and nonprofits amid the COVID-19 health emergency. The EIDL program offers long-term, low-interest loans and emergency grants.

Guidance and Recommendations

CMS Issues Recommendations on Reopening Non-Emergent, Non-COVID Health Care
The guidelines from CMS applies to areas in "phase II" status and calls for greater use of telehealth, adequate preparation for a second wave of COVID-19, and adequate PPE. The guidelines include multiple links to resources from the CDC, OSHA, and other agencies.

Labor Department to Host July 1 Webinar on Reducing Regulatory Burdens for Health Care and Emergency Responders
The U.S. Department of Labor will be presenting a webinar that it says will discuss "how the Department is helping workers and employers by reducing regulatory burdens and making it easier to understand and comply with the law." The program, set for July 1 at 1 p.m. ET will also include a Q&A session.

In PTJ: Recommendations for Hospital-Based Physical Therapists Managing Patients With COVID-19
Physical therapy researchers in the Netherlands have developed detailed recommendations for hospital-based PTs who manage patients with COVID-19. The recommendations focus on safety, treatment, discharge, and staffing. Authors address both patients in the ICU and those who are hospitalized in the COVID ward. The Royal Dutch Society for Physical Therapy supported the development of the recommendations.

In the Media

Chronic Conditions Associated With Twelvefold Increase in Likelihood of Death From COVID-19
From The Washington Post: Data from the CDC "is consistent with earlier reports showing the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on people with underlying medical conditions. The report also highlighted the disease’s stark disparities between whites and minority groups." 

New COVID-19 Cases Surge to Highest Level in Two Months
From Associated Press: "The U.S. on [June 23] reported 34,700 new cases of the virus, according to a tally compiled by Johns Hopkins University that was published Wednesday. There have been only two previous days that the U.S. has reported more cases: April 9 and April 24, when a record 36,400 cases were logged."

Study: Widespread Use of Masks Could be Key to Controlling COVID-19 Transmission
From Reuters: "The research, led by scientists at the Britain’s Cambridge and Greenwich Universities, suggests lockdowns alone will not stop the resurgence of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, but that even homemade masks can dramatically reduce transmission rates if enough people wear them in public."

New in Research

June 1: Physical Distancing, Face Masks, Eye Protection May Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Transmission
In a systematic review of research on COVID-19, SARS, and MERS published in The Lancet, researchers write that "current policies of at least 1 m physical distancing are probably associated with a large reduction in infection, and that distances of 2 m might be more effective." They also found that both the use of eye protection and the use of any type of mask is associated with "significant" protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Postacute Rehab After COVID-19 Similar to Geriatric Rehab After "Illness or Injury"
An article in JMIR Public Health Surveillance addresses important considerations for rehabilitation services for patients recovering from COVID-19. These include complications for severe infection; and cardiac, neurological, cognitive, and psychological symptoms. The author includes recommendations for inpatient procedures, hospital-based rehab, and personnel considerations, as well as items specific to respiratory and physical rehabilitation.


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