For Health Care Providers: Post-COVID Conditions
The following resources are for health care providers. Information for the general public can be found at Long COVID: A Post-COVID Condition.
Post-COVID conditions are not well understood, and their true frequency and severity remain unknown. Guidance will continue to change over time. We will update this page as more information and resources become available. Refer to CDC: Post-COVID Conditions: Information for Healthcare Providers for the latest updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC describes post-COVID conditions as “an umbrella term for the wide range of health consequences that can be present four or more weeks after infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.” However, there is not yet widespread consensus around standard clinical case definitions for most post-COVID conditions. This is in part because studies of post-COVID conditions and “long COVID” have varied widely by symptoms investigated, temporal criteria, study settings (inpatient vs. outpatient), and data sources (self-reporting versus electronic health records).
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also published a version for consideration (WHO: A Clinical Case Definition of Post COVID-19 Condition by a Delphi Consensus, 6 October 2021), which varies somewhat from the CDC description: "Post COVID-19 condition occurs in individuals with a history of probable or confirmed SARS CoV-2 infection, usually 3 months from the onset of COVID-19 with symptoms and that last for at least 2 months and cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis. Common symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, cognitive dysfunction but also others and generally have an impact on everyday functioning. Symptoms may be new onset following initial recovery from an acute COVID-19 episode or persist from the initial illness. Symptoms may also fluctuate or relapse over time."
We may include standard clinical and case definitions here as they become available.
Provider education and resources
- CDC: Post-COVID Conditions: Information for Healthcare Providers
An overview for clinicians.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): Health+ Long COVID: Human-Centered Design Report (PDF)
Framework and recommendations, including a map of the "ideal" versus "actual" treatment journey and patient-identified pain points. Published November 2022.
- University of California Health: Long COVID/PASC Education
Short videos for providers. Topics include evaluation in primary care settings, pediatrics, health disparities, post-ICU complications, psychiatry/behavioral health, emergency medicine, and more.
- Project ECHO: Long COVID and Fatiguing Illness Recovery Program
Monthly learning series, resource library, and quarterly short course for providers who care for patients with post-COVID conditions.
- National Institutes of Health: Dietary Supplements in the Time of COVID-19
Fact sheet for health professionals.
- HHS: Services and Supports for Longer-Term Impacts of COVID-19 (PDF)
An overview of federal programs and recommendations with patient input throughout. Includes "Chapter 3: Enabling Health Care Personnel to Improve Treatment of People Experiencing Long COVID." Published August 2022.
- CDC Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity Calls/Webinars: Evaluating and Supporting Patients with Long COVID in Returning to Work
Review of some of the complex symptoms specific to Long COVID, medical considerations for recommending return to work, and accommodations to support patients returning to the workplace. Featuring Dr. Greg Vanichkachorn of Mayo Clinic.
- MEAction: For Clinicians: Pacing and Management Guide for ME/CFS and Long COVID (PDF)
A brief guide from ME/CFS patient-advocates and the Patient-Led Research Collaborative.
Guidance is for informational purposes only. This is not an all-inclusive list, nor is MDH endorsing specific guidance over others.
- CDC: Evaluating and Caring for Patients with Post-COVID Conditions: Interim Guidance
Detailed information on clinical considerations, assessment and testing, management of conditions, follow-up care, public health recommendations, and more. Includes extensive list of references.
- American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: PASC Consensus Guidance
Links to guidance statements for assessing and managing fatigue, breathing discomfort, cognitive symptoms, autonomic dysfunction, and more related to long COVID.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Whole Health System Approach to Long COVID (PDF)
A comprehensive guide from the Patient-Aligned Care Team. Includes quick guides. Published August 2022.
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence: COVID-19 Rapid Guideline: Managing the Long-Term Effects of COVID-19
Includes a baseline assessment tool, guidelines for assessing and managing long-term effects of COVID-19, advice for coordinating services, and more. Updated March 2022.
- International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health: Long COVID-19: Proposed Primary Care Clinical Guidelines for Diagnosis and Disease Management
Recommendations for structured primary care visits, longitudinal follow up, multidisciplinary rehabilitation services, and empowering patients. Published April 2021.
- American Academy of Pediatrics: Post-COVID Conditions in Children and Adolescents
Interim guidance for pediatricians and primary care providers.
- CDC: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Information for Healthcare Providers
Guidance on presentation, diagnosis, clinical care, and more. Long COVID may present as ME/CFS and benefit from similar management.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Identification and Management of Mental Health Symptoms and Conditions Associated with Long COVID (PDF)
Includes recommendations for assessments and therapeutic intervention strategies.
Resources for patients
- World Health Organization: Support for rehabilitation: Self-management after COVID-19-related illness
Advice for adults who are recovering from COVID-19. Written by rehabilitation professionals in consultation with people recovering from long COVID. Includes tips for pacing and monitoring for post-exertional malaise.
- Directory of Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and Associations
CILs serve people of all ages with all types of disabilities, and also those who may not identify as having a disability but struggle with daily tasks. A local CIL may be able to coordinate services, arrange accessible transportation, locate and/or provide mobility equipment, and more.
- National Health Service (England): Your COVID Recovery: I think I have long COVID
Tips for resuming activities, managing energy, and more.
- CDC: Patient Tips: Healthcare Provider Appointments for Post-COVID Conditions
Tips and checklists to help prepare for health care encounters.
- MEAction: Pacing and management guide for ME/CFS (PDF)
Tips for recognizing post-exertional malaise, monitoring symptoms, and prioritizing rest and activities.
- Long COVID Kids: Supporting Children Living with Long COVID to Manage Their Energy with Pacing Penguins
Information to help kids and parents understand and describe fatigue, plus a poster with graphics to help support recovery.
More can be found at Long COVID Resources and Support, including resources related to employment, school, and mental health.
Post-COVID conditions in children and adolescents
Interim guidance for pediatricians and primary care providers is available at American Academy of Pediatrics: Post-COVID Conditions in Children and Adolescents.
Children with post-COVID conditions may experience challenges related to concentration, memory, or physical activity. Health care providers can work with schools and families on accommodations for classes, homework, and other activities. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)’s Long COVID under Section 504 and the IDEA, Resource to Support Children, Students, Educators, Schools, Service Providers, and Families (PDF).
MDH, in partnership with Stratis Health, is convening a Guiding Council of Minnesota clinicians who care for long COVID patients in primary and specialty care settings across the state. We are also gathering input from people with long COVID, caregivers, support services, community leaders, and other health care practitioners.
Guiding Council updates will be summarized here at a future date.
- January 6
- February 3
- March 3
- April 14
- May 12
- June 16
- July 14
- August 11
- September 8
- October and beyond: To be determined
Providers from the following clinics and health systems have volunteered their time to participate. Areas of practice and specialties include family medicine, internal medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, post-viral illness and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), infectious disease, pulmonology, traumatic brain injury, rural health care, pediatrics, geriatrics, and long-term care.
- Allina Health
- Carris Health/CentraCare
- Community-University Health Care Center (CUHCC)
- Essentia Health
- HealthPartners Clinics and Hospitals
- Hennepin Healthcare
- M Health Fairview/University of Minnesota
- Mayo Clinic
- Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System
- Minnesota Community Care
- Minnesota Department of Health
- Minnesota Department of Human Services
- North Memorial Health
- Sanford Health