COVID-19 pandemic management and the rheumatology patient

Cara D. Varley, Jennifer H. Ku, Kevin L. Winthrop

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We discuss the evidence behind mask use, including evidence for homemade masks, social distancing, and the local coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) epidemics in countries that initially employed more limited public health interventions. Given the absence of data for specific interventions in the rheumatic disease population, we reviewed the evidence available for the general population. The risk of poor outcomes with COVID-19 in patients with rheumatic diseases is a potential concern given the immunosuppression associated with these conditions and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug therapy, as well as advancing age and many of the comorbidities present in such patients. Infection prevention is key, for both individual patients and their community. Given the data collected from the general population, we recommend ongoing proper mask use, social distancing, and hand hygiene for patients with rheumatic diseases and encourage providers to counsel these patients in prevention strategies and attempt to dispel abundant misinformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101663
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Rheumatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Herd immunity
  • Mask
  • Public health
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Social distancing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


Dive into the research topics of 'COVID-19 pandemic management and the rheumatology patient'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this