Coronavirus Information for the COPD Community

The COPD Foundation is carefully monitoring the outbreak of a new disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus and which has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated as "COVID-19"). We are working with our Medical and Scientific Experts to ensure that accurate information is shared with our community.

The global situation changes daily and the World Health Organization updates their recommendations regularly https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public. We also encourage you to regularly visit the CDC website for high-risk populations and check in with your state health department's website for local information. We are providing regular updates and answers to your questions in this blog post.

During this time of social distancing many patients have minimal access to pulmonary rehabilitation. The COPD Foundation partnered with the American Thoracic Society and the American Lung Association and published a patient information sheet in the April issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (AJRCCM).

We also invite you to visit our special section devoted to COVID-19 in our peer-reviewed scientific Journal at: https://journal.copdfoundation.org/Covid19.

Exercise is so important at this time of global crisis. We updated our Exercise for Someone with COPD page with help from experts to make sure everyone keeps moving.

A research team at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is trying to better understand the effects that novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on the lives of people, including patients and healthcare workers.

As more states move to reopen the economy and restart routine medical care, you may be wondering if you should resume in-person healthcare when needed. This document will help you make an informed decision along with your healthcare team. Considerations for Resuming In Person Healthcare (PDF)


The study team would like to hear your thoughts on these current issues and invite you to complete the survey at www.uccovidstudy.com. Participation involves filling out a survey now, a second one about four (4) weeks from now, and a third one a few months from now so that they can understand how your opinions and experience may change over time. Additionally, they may reach out to some participants to invite them to participate in a focus group to share more of their thoughts.

If you have questions, please contact the study team at uccovidstudy@mednet.ucla.edu or call 310-267-2614 (Dr. Buhr) or 310-267-5308 (Dr. Wisk).

Based on community feedback on COPD360social, many of you lack access to Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Gyms and other group exercise programs. As staying active is very important to our health, below are a few links that you may find helpful:

  • A patient handout with useful links we prepared in collaboration with the American Thoracic Society and the American Lung Association called: What to do When Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) is Unavailable
  • An expert blog on the COPD Digest
  • Guided exercise tips and videos on our Exercise web page

Our most recent surveys indicated that the many members of our community are using Airway Clearance techniques and are worried about the aerosol they generate. In response we are sharing:


COVID-19 Webinar Series Recordings and Materials

The COPD Foundation wants you to know you are not alone during this time. We are hosting a series of informational webinars to provide updated public health and medical information about managing your COPD during the COVID-19 pandemic. Webinars address critical topics like how to prevent exposure to the coronavirus, strategies for maintaining your emotional well-being, and frequently asked questions about COPD and COVID-19. Webinar recordings, written transcripts and copies of slides can be accessed here approximately 24-48 hours after the live event. If you are unable to access the recordings on your devices or have additional questions, please email us at statecaptains@copdfoundation.org.

Join us in learning how we can face this crisis together.

COVID-19 Updates: Impact of COVID on COPD Research (RECORDED 6-17-2020)

COVID-19 Updates: Impact of COVID on COPD Research

June 16, 2020

Experts discuss recent updates on COVID-19 prevention and research and explore how COVID-19 affected ongoing COPD research. Speakers describe the National, Heart Lung and Blood Institute response to COVID-19, how clinical research will be restarted, and what we learned in the second COPD and COVID-19 survey.

Additional Resources


Maintaining Good Health Through COPD Management (RECORDED 5-21-2020)

Maintaining Good Health Through COPD Management

May 21, 2020

A continuation of our webinar series focusing on COPD management during COVID, as well as tools and strategies you can use to help you self-manage. View now to hear from a panel of medical professionals about the latest COVID-19 updates and how we can stay well as many states begin to lift stay at home orders.

Additional Resources


Making Sense of Telehealth and Virtual Exercise Programs (RECORDED 5-8-2020)

Making Sense of Telehealth and Virtual Exercise Programs

May 8, 2020

Listen as the experts discuss telehealth and virtual pulmonary rehab programs. This webinar also includes things for you to know/consider prior to a telehealth visit with your provider.

Additional Resources


Results of COPD360social COVID-19 Survey #1

Results of COPD360social COVID-19 Survey #1

April 28, 2020

Hear from Delia Prieto, Senior Director of Research, as she discusses the results of our first COVID-19 survey and shares key highlights from this data.

Additional Resources


COVID-19 Updates for the COPD Community

COVID-19 Updates for the COPD Community

April 20, 2020

Listen as medical experts discuss new information about the coronavirus as well as things you need to know about living well with COPD during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Additional Resources


Daily Strategies for Your Emotional Well-Being During COVID-19

Daily Strategies for Your Emotional Well-Being During COVID-19

March 26, 2020

Clinical psychologist and researcher Dr. Michelle Eakin from Johns Hopkins University joins COPD patient advocate Karen Deitemeyer and the COPD Foundation’s Stephanie Williams to provide practical strategies for coping with stress, anxiety and depression as well as tips for how to stay active and connected during COVID-19.

Additional Resources


COVID-19 Q&A with the Experts

COVID-19 Q&A with the Experts

March 24, 2020

COPD Foundation presents a COVID-19 Q&A with medical experts Byron Thomashow and Barbara Yawn.

Additional Resources

COVID-19, COPD and You: Important Strategies from Leading Medical Experts on Managing Your Health

COVID-19, COPD and You: Important Strategies from Leading Medical Experts on Managing Your Health

March 17, 2020

This webinar featured leading medical and public health experts including Dr. Josh Sharfstein from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Robert Wise of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Dr. Byron Thomashow from Columbia University/New York-Presbyterian Hospital, along with COPD Foundation staff members, Stephanie Williams and Jamie Sullivan. The speakers addressed the most common questions we received about the coronavirus and COVID-19, including what we know and don’t know about the disease, signs, and symptoms people with COPD should watch, practical action to prevent the disease, tips for maintaining your emotional well-being and resources for credible information.

Additional Resources


What People At Higher Risk For Severe Disease Should Do

Take Steps to help Prevent COVID-19 (extracted from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/index.html)

  • Stay home if possible
  • Wash your hands often
  • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others (6 feet is best)
  • Keep away from people who are sick
  • Stock up on supplies
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
  • Avoid all cruise travel and non-essential air travel

Take Steps to Manage Your Health (extracted from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/index.html)

  • Continue your medications and do not change your treatment plan without talking to a doctor
  • Have at least a 2-week supply of prescription and non-prescription medications (we recommend you request a one-time 90-day refill if possible)
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about whether your vaccinations are up to date
  • Do not delay getting emergency care for your underlying condition
  • Call your healthcare provider if you have any concerns

If you MUST go out in public take these precautions:

  • Try to keep about 6 feet of distance between you and other people
  • Wash your hands often and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wipes
  • Avoid using medications while out unless medically necessary to minimize chances of contamination
  • If you use oxygen, consider a few extra steps
    • Regularly wipe down your tubing and canula with alcohol pads and wipe it down when you return
    • Don’t set your portable oxygen concentrator or tank down while you are out if possible and be sure to wipe it down with alcohol pads when you return
    • Make sure you wash your hands or use sanitizer before touching your tubing or canula
    • Bring an extra set of tubing in case yours accidentally falls onto the ground or another surface
  • Wear a cloth face covering if possible
  • If going to an appointment, have a plan. Call from the parking lot and wait to go in until they are ready to take you back

CDC Website for High-Risk Populations

Get answers to your questions about COVID-19 and COPD on our blog or click the question below to be directed to the date your question was posted. Click the date to view the content.