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Coronavirus Response: Fast Action Against a New Virus

By / Aug 12, 2020 (Koivo/Goodillustration.com)

From testing to treatment to infection prevention, IDSA became a critical resource for medical professionals and the public health community from the earliest days of the pandemic.

Coronavirus Response • Infectious Diseases Society of America

As the COVID-19 crisis evolved rapidly last spring, the Infectious Diseases Society of America moved quickly to develop guidelines and recommendations to keep clinicians, public health authorities, scientists, and policymakers up to date on a pandemic that seemed to stay several steps ahead of efforts to contain it.

IDSA issued guidelines on COVID-19 patient management and treatment, recommendations on prioritizing diagnostic testing, infection prevention guidelines for using personal protective equipment, a primer on antibody testing, and criteria for easing social-distancing measures.

“Our members have been the boots on the ground for developing these rapid diagnostic tests that didn’t exist—for a virus that didn’t exist just a few months ago,” says Jaclyn Levy, IDSA’s director of science and research policy. And the testing that IDSA, public health departments, and academic medical centers have developed “impacts everybody, from community health workers doing drive-through testing all the way to the people in the ICU, and those in between.”

In the first emergency bills that passed Congress, IDSA worked with lawmakers to include testing coverage provisions that prevent surprise billing for patients across the country.

IDSA’s guidance continues to help clinicians and public health experts deal with the virus. The organization is also working on recommendations for special populations and for telehealth.

“We’ll continue to advocate for policies and investments that will expand not only capacity for testing, but also research and interventions for treating and preventing COVID-19,” Levy says.

Allison Torres Burtka

Allison Torres Burtka, a longtime association journalist, is a freelance writer and editor in West Bloomfield, Michigan. More »

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