Responding to COVID-19
Statement of Problem
As we continue to 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 continue to safely reopen society; prepare for regional increases in COVID-19 transmission as a result of reopening, variant strains and lags in vaccination efforts; address the humanitarian impacts resulting from social distancing and disruptions to caregivers’ abilities to work and youth school attendance; and build a foundation to address future public health crises in an equitable manner.
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 800 U.S. counties. Explore more about the project and its weekly updates:
- PolicyLab COVID-Lab: Mapping COVID-19 in Your Community
- Forecasting COVID-19 Transmission Across Time in U.S. Counties
- COVID-19 Outlook: Cautiously Optimistic a Turning Point is Near
- How We Validate Our COVID-19 Prediction Models
- After Weeks of Declining Cases, Echoes of Hot Spots Emerge in Upper Midwest, New York City
- How States and Localities are Enforcing COVID-19 Mandates
- The Tangled Issue of Masking Enforcement: What are States and Cities Trying?
Reopening and Keeping Open Schools
PolicyLab team members, alongside colleagues in Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Division (CHOP) of Infectious Diseases, have developed guidance to support local jurisdictions and school administrators in their plans to safely reopen, and keep open, schools.
- Growing Opportunities for COVID-19 Testing Programs in U.S. Schools
- Assisting Childhood Education through Increased Testing: Project: ACE-IT
- Virtual Conversation: From Testing to Vaccines to Equity: Navigating the Remainder of the COVID-19 School Year
- Policy Review: Evidence and Guidance for In-person Schooling during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- COVID-19 Screening Strategies for Repopulating College Campuses
- 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.
- Winter Indoor Sports Guidance Amid COVID-19
- Policy Review: Evidence and Guidance for In-person Schooling during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Appendix A: Special Considerations for Sports)
- Virtual Conversation: Returning to Youth Sports
- Return to Youth Sports after COVID-19 Shutdown: Reference Guides
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.
- 4 Ways Governments Can Help Improve the Health of Children and Families | Opinion
- Key Takeaways from Pediatric Emergency Department Response to COVID-19
- Senate HELP Committee Request for Information: Preparing for the Next Pandemic
- A Precision Public Health Approach to Preventing the Next COVID-19 Surge: It’s Time to Talk about Surveillance
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 proficient populations, youth with special health care needs and more.
Collaboration with the State
- Informing Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Health Equity Response
- Pennsylvania Department of Health COVID-19 Health Equity Response Team Draft Action Plan Memo
Supporting Children with Special Health Care Needs
- FAQ: Support for Children with Special Educational Needs Amid COVID-19
- Ensuring Support Services for Youth With Disabilities & Special Health Care Needs Amid COVID-19
- Initial Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Pediatric Asthma Emergency Department Utilization
Immigrant and Limited-English-Proficient Communities' Health
- Are Refugee Essential Workers at a Higher Risk of Contracting COVID-19?
- Addressing the Unique Needs of Immigrant and Limited-English-Proficient Communities During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Stakeholder Perspectives: Supporting Pennsylvania’s Immigrant Communities During the Pandemic
- Supporting Immigrant Communities and Those with Limited English Proficiency During the Pandemic: Stakeholder Perspectives from Pennsylvania
- What Can We Learn from Black & Brown Developing Nations’ Responses to COVID-19?
- When the Scales are Skewed: The Struggle for Equality in Child Weight Outcomes
- We Know Paid Family Leave Saves Infant Lives—So When Will Policymakers Catch Up?
- COVID-19 and Systemic Racism Threaten the 2020 Census
- Broadband Internet Access, Education & Child Health: From Differences to Disparities, Part 1
- Broadband Internet Access, Telehealth & Child Health: From Differences to Disparities, Part 2
- Paid Leave: Will COVID-19 be a Catalyst for This Essential Policy?
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.
- Growing Rates of Eating Disorders Among Teens—Another COVID-19 Concern?
- Rising Behavioral Health Needs Amid COVID-19: Perspectives Across Multiple Settings
- Behavioral Health and COVID-19 Blog Post Series
- Preparing for Mental Health Needs of College Students Amid COVID-19
- Virtual Conversation: COVID-19—A Catalyst for Integrating Youth Behavioral Health Care Across Settings
- 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.
- Safety of Child Care During COVID-19 in 200 Words
- 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 child abuse and the potential effects of the pandemic on the child welfare system. PolicyLab is supporting state policymakers with emerging data surrounding child abuse, and with increases in opioid ingestions among children.
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 team members, alongside an interdisciplinary group of experts from CHOP’s Social Work Department, Primary Care Network, and Safe Place, developed an issue brief that offers guidance on strategies health care systems and providers could adopt to effectively implement screening and support families in meeting their social needs. Because the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened disparities that many low-income and racial/ethnic minority families continue to face, developing interventions collaboratively with communities has never been more important in improving the well-being of patients and families.
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.
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.
- Implementing Group Parent Training in Telepsychology: Lessons Learned 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
- Outcomes of a Rapid Adolescent Telehealth Scale-up During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- What COVID-19 Reveals about the Value of Telemedicine for Children’s Mental Health
- Doing Telemedicine Amid Coronavirus Crisis Has Taught Me Things about My Patients I’d Never Have Known Before
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, recover from the lingering health and social impacts 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].