December 9, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

POMA continues to monitor the rapidly changing information surrounding the spread of COVID-19.  As we have seen in recent weeks, the numbers in Pennsylvania are rapidly increasing and new orders and guidance has been issued.

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!


New Headlines

Pennsylvania Department of Health Expands Testing

This week the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced they are expanding COVID-19 testing sites. The next five counties to begin testing later this week were announced and include Clinton, Delaware, Greene, Warren and Wyoming counties. Drive-thru and indoor testing will begin on Dec. 10. The testing sites are open to anyone who feels they need a test, including people with no symptoms or no known exposure, although it is important that even people with no symptoms who test positive isolate to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Find a testing site here.

Wolf Administration Provides Update on Contact Tracing

Today the Director of Testing and Contact Tracing, Michael Huff, and Special Assistant on Contact Tracing for the Department of Health, Lindsey Mauldin, presented details on testing to date, upcoming expanded testing sites, and provided a closer look at contact tracing. They discussed why contact tracing is a vital link for stopping the spread of COVID-19. During their announcement, Mauldin gave an update on what to expect from a contact tracer if you do test positive and emphasized the ways it can help in slowing the spread of the virus.


POMA Members Can Receive PPE Discounts

POMA is excited to announce our new partnership with to help our members acquire proper PPE supplies.  Launched in South Carolina, ActionPPE has supplied over 2.6 million units of PPE to members of over 20 state medical organizations through a reputable and certified supplier.  By pooling resources, POMA members receive a 5% discount on PPE orders when they use the discount code POMA-SAVE5. Product details and certificates for masks, gowns, gloves, face shields, etc. are provided on the site with most items in-stock and shipping directly to your office.

CMS Releases Vaccine Provider Toolkit

CMS has released a vaccine provider toolkit for providers, states and insurers to help the health care system prepare to swiftly administer the vaccine once it is available. Click here to learn more.

Department Of Health Aligns COVID-19 Quarantine Guidance With CDC

Last week, the Department of Health aligned its quarantine guidance for people exposed to COVID-19 with the new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that provides an option for a 10-day quarantine without testing or a seven-day quarantine with a negative test on or after day-five of quarantine.

This guidance does not apply to health care settings or those living in certain congregate settings such as nursing homes or prisons. View the updated quarantine guidance update here

Pennsylvania COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard Update

On Monday, Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine released a weekly status update detailing the state’s mitigation efforts based on the COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard highlighting a seven-day case increase of 48,668 cases, statewide percent positivity of 14.4%, and 66 of 67 counties with substantial transmission status.


 PA Health Alert Network (PA HAN) - Health Alerts, Advisories and Updates

 Previously Published but Relevant Headlines

DOH Encourages Contact Tracing Participation

Michael Huff, director of testing and contact tracing for Pennsylvania, is emphasizing the need to prioritize case investigations and for those who test positive to participate in contact tracing - two key public health activities that occur when a case of COVID-19 is identified.  With 34,000 positive cases reported in the past seven days, contact tracing has become even more critical to identifying those who may have been exposed to the virus.  The Department of Health is utilizing the CDC's case investigation prioritization recommendations, which were revised on November 23.

Pennsylvanians are also encouraged to download the free COVID Alert PA App.  To date, there have been more than 600,000 downloads.

New Guidance Issued from PA Department of Health

In November, the Pennsylvania Department of Health released two alerts for healthcare professionals relating to COVID-19:

It's Time to Get the Flu Vaccine!

The CDC is promoting the 2020-2021 flu vaccine to help protect yourself, your family and your community from flu.  A flu vaccine this season can also help reduce the burden on our healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and save medical resources for care of COVID-19 patients.  Now is the time to get a flu vaccine.​

DOH Discusses Plans for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

In anticipation of the availability of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, the Pennsylvania Department of Health will be sending a more formal invitation to consider enrolling as a COVID-19 vaccine provider.  Existing partners who may already be a part of Pennsylvania's Immunizations Program (i.e. Vaccines for Children) as well as new partners, will be welcome.  The DOH plan for vaccine distribution includes a three-phased structure to correspond with the expected availability of doses.  Therefore, there may be taking a targeted approach to COVID-19 Vaccination Provider enrollment.

In all cases, in order to receive and administer COVID-19 vaccines providers must be credentialed/licensed in Pennsylvania; sign and agree to the conditions in the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement; and also fully complete the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Provider Profile form for each location where COVID-19 vaccine will be administered.  More information about the enrollment process will be made available in the DOH invitation letter and on the DOH website.  For additional information or questions, please contact DOH at [email protected] or call 717-787-5681.

Pennsylvania Suspends Licensing Requirements

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 |