Responding to COVID-19
Statement of Problem
As we follow the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, top of mind for us are the children and families facing significant health and economic challenges as a result of this crisis, its related shelter-in-place directives and continued social distancing measures.
In addition to protecting children and families from the damaging health effects of this virus, it is also imperative that we safely reopen society, prepare for a potential resurgence of COVID-19 in the fall, and address the humanitarian impacts resulting from social distancing and disruptions to caregivers’ abilities to work and youth school attendance.
At PolicyLab, we are grateful for the work of our team members, frontline health and service providers, and policy leaders in keeping families safe and healthy and mitigating the long-term consequential impacts that the pandemic could have on the well-being of families. Below are some of the areas for which we have been digging in deeper alongside our partners (note: we will update this webpage frequently as work continues):
Informing state & federal policy response to reopening society:
COVID-19 Modeling Work
PolicyLab team members are part of an interdisciplinary team of global experts using actual case data to track and longitudinally project, in real-time, the COVID-19 epidemic across more than 500 U.S. counties. Explore more about the project and its weekly updates:
- PolicyLab COVID-Lab: Mapping COVID-19 in Your Community
- Forecasting the Impacts of Weather and Social Distancing on COVID-19 Transmission Across the U.S.
- Association of Social Distancing, Population Density, and Temperature With the Instantaneous Reproduction Number of SARS-CoV-2 in Counties Across the United States
- How We Validate Our COVID-19 Prediction Models
- COVID-19 Outlook: Shifting Winds and Inconsistent Signals
PolicyLab team members, alongside colleagues in Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Division (CHOP) of Infectious Diseases, compiled a policy review to support local jurisdictions and school administrators in their plans to safely reopen schools following their closure for the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Policy Review: Evidence and Considerations for School Reopenings
- Virtual Conversation: Health and Safety Considerations for Reopening K-12 Schools
- CHOP Outlines Safe Conditions for Reopening Schools
- Music Class Guidance During COVID-19 in 200 Words
We developed a policy review that draws on evidence from influenza response efforts, previous epidemics and occupational health literature to propose COVID-19-specific strategies surrounding workplace policies, surveillance and testing.
Returning to Youth Sports
PolicyLab teamed up with CHOP’s Sports Medicine and Performance Center, Division of Infectious Diseases, and Center for Injury Research and Prevention to release guidance on returning to youth sports for programs, coaches, parents and athletes following COVID-19 shutdowns.
- Return to Youth Sports after COVID-19 Shutdown: Reference Guides
- Virtual Conversation: Returning to Youth Sports
Preparing for the Next Pandemic
PolicyLab team members have been developing resources and providing recommendations for how we can be better prepared to respond to the next phase of COVID-19 and any future pandemics.
- A Precision Public Health Approach to Preventing the Next COVID-19 Surge: It’s Time to Talk about Surveillance
- Senate HELP Committee Request for Information: Preparing for the Next Pandemic
- Key Takeaways from Pediatric Emergency Department Response to COVID-19
Our behavioral health researchers are working to ensure that all children and their families receive the mental health services they need following the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. We’re exploring issues related to Medicaid payment and reimbursement; support for innovations in care delivery; a sharpened focus on racial/ethnic inequities in our systems of care; and more.
- Behavioral Health and COVID-19 Blog Post Series
- Policy Review: Addressing System Needs for Child Behavioral Health in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic
PolicyLab experts are providing guidance to policymakers, child care providers, and caregivers on how to ensure that child care centers can remain open while also protecting the safety of staff and families throughout the course of the pandemic.
- FAQ: Reopening Doors to Child Care Safely
- Questions to Ask Your Child Care Provider: A Checklist for Parents, Guardians & Families
- FAQ: Returning My Child to Child Care Safely
- Child Care is an Essential Service. What is Needed to Reopen Safely?
Child welfare/child maltreatment:
Our child welfare experts are closely monitoring the effects of the pandemic on youth in the foster care system, timely reunification of families and potential increases in child abuse. PolicyLab is supporting state policymakers in ensuring health care access for youth in foster care during this time and studying emerging data surrounding child abuse.
CHOP’s community resource map, www.CommunityResourceConnects.org—developed through a partnership between the Division of Social Work, Healthier Together, Population Health, Safe Place, the Primary Care Network and others—is helping patients, families, and providers search for local community resources by zip code and key categories, such as food and financial support. The team partners with community-based organizations and other health care systems to update the site with services specific to COVID-19, and is also sharing this information through the CHOP Emergency Department, main hospital and primary care clinics.
Our researchers are leading a rapid-response study to understand the experience families with young kids who receive Early Intervention (EI) services are having with these programs, as well as with new virtual EI services. The information gleaned from this study should help with planning for future crises and pandemics.
Our experts are closely monitoring health equity issues related to the pandemic, and we are connecting with policymakers to help address disparities affecting racial/ethnically diverse families, immigrant and limited-English proficiency populations, youth with special health care needs and more.
- Informing Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Health Equity Response
- Ensuring Support Services for Youth With Disabilities & Special Health Care Needs Amid COVID-19
- Are Pediatricians Ready to Care for Immigrant Families in a Time of Crisis?
- COVID-19 Disparities and Impacts on Emotional Health & Well-being of Diverse Children
- COVID-19 and Pennsylvania’s Rural Kids
- Pennsylvania Department of Health COVID-19 Health Equity Response Team Draft Action Plan Memo
PolicyLab researchers have been supporting CHOP’s roll-out of increased telehealth services following the recent relaxation of federal and state guidelines. We helped organize a system for patient engagement with youth living with HIV and transgender youth who cannot visit clinic right now.
- Doing Telemedicine Amid Coronavirus Crisis Has Taught Me Things about My Patients I’d Never Have Known Before
- What COVID-19 Reveals about the Value of Telemedicine for Children’s Mental Health
- Outcomes of a Rapid Adolescent Telehealth Scale-up During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Telehealth’s Impact on Teen Care During COVID-19 in 200 Words
- A Defining Moment for Pediatric Primary Care Telehealth
The health, social, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are sure to have long-lasting effects on the well-being of children and families. PolicyLab will continue to be a voice for youth as we work to inform evidence-based policy solutions that directly address our response to this crisis, as well as our nation’s efforts to reopen society and manage future outbreaks.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PolicyLab. Responding to COVID-19 [Online]. Available at: http://www.policylab.chop.edu. [Accessed: plug in date accessed here].