MARAC Advisory Statement Regarding SCD Patients during the time of “Reopening” the U.S. Economy

MARAC Advisory Statement Regarding SCD Patients during the time of “Reopening” the U.S. Economy

April 30, 2020-On Thursday April 16, 2020, the U.S. Coronavirus Taskforce provided
recommendations on reopening the economy, giving states specific metrics, policies, and
benchmarks regarding case load, hospital preparedness and testing capability with the goal of
reopening on May 1. In order to proceed through the entire process, states must complete a twoweek pre-phase, and then complete a two-week gating period with no evidence of rebound
infections between each of the phases.
During the first two phases, the taskforce recommended that all vulnerable individuals remain at
home and that everyone should work from home if they are able to do so. It also concluded that
employers should make special accommodations for vulnerable individuals at work if working from
home is not possible. During the last phase, vulnerable individuals could resume working
normally, with physical distancing while in public places.
It is the position of the Medical and Research Advisory Committee (MARAC) of the Sickle Cell
Disease Association of America that patients with sickle cell disease are considered vulnerable
individuals based on American Society of Hematology (ASH) COVID19 guidelines.1
What does this mean for our sickle cell patients? We recommend that patients with sickle cell
disease do the following until it is determined by their state and local authorities and based on the
advice of their local healthcare provider, that it is safe to resume routine activity:
1) Continue to follow the instructions and recommendations of your local and state
authorities and the CDC guidelines.
2) Continue to stay at home except for essential trips.
3) Continue to work from home as much as possible. For those employees who cannot
work from home, we recommend that special accommodations (e.g. social distancing,
masks, hand sanitization, etc.) be available at their places of employment. For patients
for which neither of those options is possible, we recommend working with your local
sickle cell provider to find an appropriate resolution.
4) Continue to take all medicines, including all preventive medicines (e.g. penicillin,
hydroxyurea, L-glutamine, voxelotor, and crizanlizumab), as prescribed by your
healthcare provider.
5) Continue routine clinical care through telehealth or telephone visits as noted in the
MARAC guidelines.
1
https://www.hematology.org/covid-19/covid-19-and-sickle-cell-disease

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