May 6, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

POMA continues to monitor the rapidly changing information surrounding the spread of COVID-19.

In an effort to provide accurate and helpful information to POMA members, we have gathered some of the resources we are finding to be most useful and accurate at this time. We hope this helps you in staying on top of the latest developments in the spread of the disease and in helping your patients.

Stay safe and healthy!


Gov. Wolf Signs Executive Order to Provide Civil Immunity for Health Care Providers

Today, May 6, Governor Tom Wolf signed an executive order to provide health care providers protection against liability for good faith actions taken in response to the call to supplement the health care provider workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. "As the COVID-19 pandemic has required the Wolf Administration to take broad action to respond to and prepare for Pennsylvanians' critical health care needs, so too has it required our health care providers to broaden their professional responsibilities and experiences like never before," Gov. Wolf said. "This Executive Order to Enhance Protections for Health Care Professionals serves to protect the individuals serving on the front lines of the disaster response." Click here to view the Executive Order.

POMA applauds Governor Wolf for his leadership. This represents a significant advocacy win for POMA members! POMA has kept up the pressure advocating for immunity from liability for osteopathic physicians treating patients with COVID-19.

Pennsylvania Releases Plans for Testing and Contact Tracing Strategies

As Pennsylvania prepares to reopen parts of the state later this week, the Wolf Administration has published COVID-19 testing and contact tracing strategies for the Commonwealth.  Increased testing capacity and robust surveillance, case investigation, contact tracing and isolation of positive cases or quarantine of close contacts are critical aspects to successfully reopen Pennsylvania.

Testing Strategy
The Wolf Administration's goal is to ensure that anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 is able to receive a diagnostic test. The testing strategy focuses on three pillars: ensuring testing is accessible for all Pennsylvanians with symptoms of COVID-19; available by increasing supply and building community capacity; and adaptable to the evolving landscape of the virus and data. Click here to view the PA-DOH testing strategy.

While testing capacity throughout the state continues to improve, there is still much work to be done on the diagnostic test front. In addition, the administration continues to review available research on serology testing to identify previous exposure to COVID-19 and will continue to adapt the testing strategy as more information and resources become available.

Contact Tracing Strategy
As counties return to work, the Pennsylvania Department of Health will conduct complete case investigation and contact tracing of positive cases to slow disease transmission. Positive cases will be isolated, and their close contacts counseled and quarantined reducing risk of transmission in the community. Healthcare providers and laboratories will continue to electronically report positive test results in Pennsylvania's National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (PA-NEDSS) and contact tracers will collect surveillance data/close contact information to provide them with isolation and quarantine instructions. Click here to view the PA-DOH contact tracing strategy.

Updated Return to Work Guidelines Issued for Healthcare Personnel

On Friday, May 1, the Pennsylvania Department of Health released updated guidance for making decisions about return to work for healthcare personnel with confirmed COVID-19, or who have suspected COVID-19. Click here for the new return to work guidelines.

PPE Material Distribution

All providers should be working with their Regional Health Care Coalition to submit requests for PPE. Please scroll to the bottom for the contact information of each region's Public Health Preparedness Coordinator.

Pennsylvania Suspends Licensing Regulations

Due to COVID-19, Governor Wolf has granted a number of temporary waivers for health care professionals to increase the available number of practitioners in the Commonwealth and reduce barriers to temporary licensure. Following are a list of waivers relevant for osteopathic physicians:

Click here for a complete list of suspended licensing regulations. For all licensing-related inquiries, please use the email addresses found here to contact the appropriate licensing board.

Updated Pennsylvania Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Cases, Graphics, Resources

Daily Briefings and Updates from Pa. Governor Wolf and Secretary Levine

Resources from the CDC

The CDC has provided guidance and resources for healthcare providers, healthcare facilities, laboratories, as well as information for schools and childcare, businesses and employers, community and faith-based organizations, and the general public. Visit the CDC COVID-19 webpage for more information.

POMA will continue monitoring COVID-19 and provide updates and recommendations from PA-DOH, the CDC, the WHO and local health agencies. POMA's COVID-19 webpage and social media channels will be updated as information is shared from these organizations.

If you have any comments or questions for POMA, please email us at [email protected]. 

Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association | 1330 Eisenhower Boulevard, Harrisburg, PA 17111
(717) 939-9318 |