COVID-19 and Audiology The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has had an unprecedented effect on the delivery of health care in the United States. Most states instituted public quarantine mandates from March to June 2020, and many health-care practices closed for weeks and, often, for months, delaying or suspending health-care access. Audiology practices and services also were affected, which sparked a debate on whether audiology services were essential. COVID-19 and Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Programs Benchmarks Congenital hearing loss is considered a neurodevelopmental emergency and concerns about services related to newborn hearing screening (NBHS) and follow up were forefront in discussions regarding essential health-care services. Moats and Creel (2020) presented readers with guidance and resources related to early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) during these unprecedented times with assurance that NBHS and follow-up services are indeed essential. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advised pediatricians to continue to follow federal and state guidelines on newborn screenings, including NBHS and follow up (AAP, 2020). Unfortunately, early guidance from national audiology professional organizations conflicted with state and local government mandates, leading to confusion on which health-care facilities and services were essential. As a result, most audiology facilities and services ceased operation for weeks or months. The 2000 Joint Commission on Infant Hearing (JCIH) guidelines (2019) describe and mandate each state’s EHDI program to achieve benchmark goals for children at one month of age, three months of age, and six months of age, or 1-3-6. These goals state that infants should undergo NBHS prior to discharge from the hospital, but no later than one month of age. In addition, if the infant does not pass their NBHS, they should receive an audiologic evaluation to confirm hearing status no later than three months of age and enroll in early intervention (EI) services as soon as possible after identification or no later than six months of age. This content is an exclusive benefit for American Academy of Audiology members. If you're a member, log in and you'll get immediate access. Member Login If you're not yet a member, you'll be interested to know that joining not only gives you access to top-notch resources like this one, but also invitations to member-only events, inclusion in the member directory, participation in professional forums, and access to patient resources, tools, and continuing education. Join today!