March 31, 2020, 2020 (Falls Church, VA) The United States federal agency responsible for managing critical services during the Coronoavirus-19 pandemic specifically included chiropractic in their updated, Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce:Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response. In the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce subsection on Health Care, chiropractors have been included, “Healthcare providers and Caregivers including physicians, dentists, …nurses …chiropractors…”
While this is specifically not a federal directive to the states, the guidance document is provided as a resource to Governor’s to ease the strain of decision making for emergency planning overall, and in this instance for the COVID-19 response. In recent days, numerous governors have provided a link to this document in the ‘Stay at Home’ Executive Orders they have issued.
The International Chiropractors Association (ICA) is pleased that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the Department of Homeland Security (CISA/DHS) has provided this much needed clarity. While it was presumed that chiropractors were categorized in the ambulatory services category; it was of vital importance to clarify by having a specific designation.
Our goal from day one of the pandemic has been to help ease the burden of the medical community by ensuring that chiropractors would remain available to address issues, unrelated to viral transmission, as well as staying available to existing patients.
On March 16, the ICA was the first chiropractic association to issue a public statement reaffirming chiropractic as an essential health care service. The ICA has been actively engaged with federal policy and legislative leaders regarding the importance of chiropractors in the COVID-19 response and applaud the agency’s acknowledgement of the ICA’s recommendation.
Dr. Stephen P. Welsh, ICA President stated, “Governors and other government leaders now have an updated COVID-19 emergency planning resource from the responsible US federal agency. The ICA is actively working at all levels of government to help our members preserve their ability to make their own decisions about seeing patients and helping out in their own communities; as well as to ensure patients continue to have access to their chiropractor during these trying times as needed. With this acknowledgement by the Department of Homeland Security, chiropractors are better positioned to do so. The ICA has created a COVID-19 resource page through which our community can find up to date information in one central location.”
The COVID-19 Resource Page is https://www.chiropractic.org/covid