Covid-19 / Coronavirus info

by Garreth

Last updated 5/10/20

ARMA is working to support our members to share information and respond effectively to the coronavirus outbreak. Patient organisations are working to ensure people have the advice they need related to their condition or medication. Our professional members are working to ensure healthcare professionals have access to the information they need about the virus and also how to continue to provide healthcare support in the current situation.

ARMA is signposting the most relevant information we can find and will update this page as new information becomes available. It includes information for professionals, patients, parents and guidance for Wales and Scotland.

General advice about social distancing including groups who may be more at risk. (Updated 22/9/20)

Local Restrictions – details of areas with local restrictions:

Information for professionals

Third phase of NHS response to COVID-19

Letter and supplementary information about focus on non-Covid related services and preparing for winter pressures. (10 August)

NHSE Speciality guides including:


  • Management of rheumatology patients which includes more information about levels of risk for different groups (v. 2 posted 14 April)


  • Management of trauma and orthopaedic patients (v. 2 posted 14 April)
  • Management of patients requiring spinal surgery (v. 2 posted 15 April)
  • perioperative care of people with fragility fractures


  • Urgent and emergency musculoskeletal conditions in children (under 16) requiring onward referral
  • Urgent and Emergency Musculoskeletal Conditions Requiring Onward Referral – to help primary or community care practitioners recognise serious pathology which requires emergency or urgent referral to secondary care in patients who present with new or worsening musculoskeletal (MSK) symptoms.
  • Management of patients with musculoskeletal and rheumatic conditions on corticosteroids

These can all be found here:

Other orthopaedics

Clinical Validation of Surgical Waiting Lists: framework and support tools

NICE Covid-19 rapid guidance: arranging planned care in hospitals and diagnostic services (26/7/20) 

Re-starting non-urgent trauma and orthopaedic care guidance from British Orthopaedic Association—summary—final-pdf.html

Other rheumatology

NICE COVID-19 rapid guideline: rheumatological autoimmune, inflammatory and metabolic bone disorders.

Management of patients with musculoskeletal and rheumatic conditions who: are on corticosteroids; require initiation of oral/IV corticosteroids; require a corticosteroid injection (16/6/20)


Denosumab (Prolia) treatment and the COVID-19 pandemic

Toolkit: DXA restoration of service

Guidance: Secondary fracture prevention for inpatients during COVID-19 pandemic

All on the Royal Osteoporosis Society Covid-19 Hub

Shielding (England)

Shielding is currently paused. This is the guidance that was in place before it was paused.

Guidance and updates for GPs: Highest clinical risk patients (8 July) Includes text of letter being sent to those who are shielding.

Identifying high risk patients who should be shielding – There is information on the BSR website about how this will be done in relation to rheumatology including a template of the letter patients will receive.

COVID-19 – ‘shielding’ guidance for children and young people

Information in the NHS website for patients about shielding. (29 sept)

Community MSK services

Restoration of community health services

The Stanford Hall consensus statement for post-COVID-19 rehabilitation

Guidance from the CSP on implementing remote consultations


COVID-19 – talking to children and families about returning to school: guiding principles


Information about NICE rapid guidelines on the active management of COVID-19 infection. NICE are also reviewing guidance on ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in relation to impact on covid-19 illness.

Guidance on infection prevention and control for COVID-19

Guidance on Vitamin D supplements for people getting out less due to shielding, isolating or lockdown.


Information for patients

A risk calculator for rheumatology patients to assess their risk and whether you should be isolating or shielding.

FAQs for patients on resuming surgical services

Many patient organisations have helplines and web-based information.

Arthritis Action:

Fibromyalgia UK:

Hypermobility Syndromes Association:

Lupus UK:

National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society (NASS):

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS): (info page);
and Here For You, a new service that allows you to arrange a callback with someone with RA who understands you:

Psoriasis Association:

Royal Osteoporosis Society:

Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK (SRUK):

Versus Arthritis:


Information for patients and parents of children and young people

From SPARN (Scottish Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology Network)

CCCA Kids with Arthritis incorporating JIA Matters facebook group

Great Ormond Street Hospital advice for parents of vulnerable children and young people – useful practical advice on shielding for a child.

Resources for young people – specifically about shielding and social distancing and developed with input of children/young people.

Information for Wales

Guidance for professionals (nothing MSK specific)

COVID-19 High risk shielded patient list identification methodology (note different methodology for rheumatology from England and guidance below contains more up to date list)

Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from coronavirus (COVID-19). (updated 1 June). – contact your local authority

Shielding guidance in Wales did not change from 22 June:

Information for Scotland

Guidance for healthcare professionals

Shielding advice

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