Updated May 15, 2020
These recommendations were created by an Advisory Committee formed by members of The LAM Foundation Scientific Advisory Board, Clinic Directors, Board of Directors, and members of the LAM Community. Click here to download a PDF of the LAM Foundation COVID-19 Recommendations and Community Questions and Answers.
Click here to download a Spanish translation of The LAM Foundation COVID-19 Recommendations and Community Questions and Answers.
The LAM Foundation is closely monitoring the rapidly evolving developments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. As the United States and other countries around the world begin to take initial steps towards easing the stay-at-home restrictions, it is important to be aware of the continuing risk that COVID-19 poses to patients with chronic lung disease. LAM patients should continue to exercise caution and remain vigilant during this phase of responsible reopening.
The LAM Foundation endorses the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which are updated on a regular basis here, and also the Federal Guidelines for phased reopening here.
A slightly modified version is provided below.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ALL LAM PATIENTS
- Pay attention to and adhere to the directions from your local and state authorities.
- Wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/hand-hygiene.html
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth, or eyes with unwashed hands.
- Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.
- Stay at home if you are sick.
- Continue to follow social distancing guidelines and try to maintain a six-foot distance between yourself and other people.
- Avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.
- Avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts – use drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options.
- Wear a mask when going out in public, especially in situations where distancing is difficult to maintain. Check the CDC website for information on the best practices of cloth face masks here.
- Restrict international travel and non-essential domestic travel. Check the CDC website for travel guidance here.
Frequent hand washing, avoiding touching your face, and social distancing remain the cornerstones for preventing the spread of COVID-19, and all LAM patients should strictly adhere to these principles until the threat of COVID-19 has passed or widespread effective vaccination of the community has been accomplished.
SPECIAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PATIENTS WITH LAM
While having LAM doesn’t put you at a higher risk for ‘catching’ COVID-19, the presence of LAM might make you more susceptible to complications of COVID-19. Although there are no disease-specific data, the risk profile for LAM patients is likely directly related to the degree of lung function (FEV1, DLCO) impairment. Members of The LAM Foundation Scientific Advisory Board had previously put forth tiered guidance recommendations stratified based on disease severity. The same tiered system can be used as a guide by LAM patients to make decisions regarding going out in public again. Regardless of the risk category, LAM patients should continue to strictly adhere to frequent hand hygiene and social distancing in order to reduce their risk of catching COVID-19.
Of course, individual risk does not fall so neatly into categories. In addition to FEV1, individual risk is also dependent upon other factors such as underlying health conditions, overall health status, impairment in diffusion capacity, etc. Patients should exercise their best judgment and seek guidance from their healthcare providers when making decisions.