Responding to COVID-19

Statement of Problem

Despite low COVID-19 community transmission rates and hospitalizations in most areas, children and families still face lingering effects on their health and well-being from the lockdowns, disruptions to education and access to health services, social isolation and experiences of loss in the U.S. since March 2020. Communities also continue to face obstacles as they navigate this next phase of the pandemic. Vaccination rates vary among different populations and geographic areas and children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for the vaccine, leaving some vulnerable residents at higher risk for contracting and spreading the virus and fueling a sense of uncertainty as we head into the upcoming school year.


At PolicyLab, we are grateful for the work of community and advocacy partners, frontline health and service providers, policymakers, public health and education leaders, and research colleagues in keeping families safe and healthy since the start of the pandemic. While much work has been done, there remain many concerning and inequitable lingering impacts for children and families, which we outline in this blog post. Below you will find additional resources and materials that represent some of the timely, critical areas—such as behavioral health, health equity and school safety—we continue to work on.

Monitoring COVID-19 transmission

Keeping schools safely open

Achieving equitable health outcomes

Addressing lingering behavioral health effects

Ensuring the safety of child care

Investigating the rising rates of sexually transmitted infections among youth amid the pandemic

Preparing for the next pandemic


Next Steps

PolicyLab will continue to work on addressing the impact of the pandemic on the children and families we serve, particularly issues related to health equity, ranging from adolescent behavioral health and sexual health, birth outcomes, social safety net program enrollment and disparities in access to telemedicine services. Through this work, PolicyLab will leverage its research, expertise, and experience distilling information for and engaging with policy audiences to advocate for policies and practices that will build a stronger, more supportive infrastructure for child and family health in the future as we recover from the pandemic.

This project page was last updated in September 2021.

Archive: please see below for a few of PolicyLab’s older COVID-19-focused resources.

Suggested Citation

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PolicyLab. Responding to COVID-19 [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: plug in date accessed here]. 

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