March 24, 2021

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!


New Headlines

Pennsylvania DOH Amends Face Covering Order to Align with CDC Guidance

On March 17, 2021, Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam amended Pennsylvania's existing Universal Face Coverings order that was issued on November 17, 2020, to align with the CDC's new Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.  The order went into effect on March 17, 2021 and remains in effect until further notice.

According to the CDC, there are several activities that fully vaccinated people can resume, while being mindful of the potential risk of transmitting the virus to others. These activities include:

  • Visiting with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing;
  • Visiting with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing; and 
  • Refraining from quarantine and testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic.

It is important to remember that the current mitigation orders are still in effect and fully vaccinated people continue to take precautions in public by wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing, avoiding medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings, getting tested if they experience COVID-19 symptoms, follow guidance issued by employers, and follow travel requirements and recommendations.

Gov. Wolf Revises Gathering Limits and Lifts Target Restrictions on Restaurants and Other Businesses

On March 15, Governor Tom Wolf announced the lifting of some targeted restrictions on restaurants and other businesses, as well as increased gathering limits.

Effective Sunday, April 4, 

  • Restaurants may resume bar service, alcohol service will be allowed without the purchase of food, the curfew for removing alcoholic drinks from tables will be lifted, and indoor dining capacity will be raised to 75% for those restaurants that are currently self-certified and those that undergo the self-certification process. Those that do not self-certify may raise capacity to 50%. Requirements such as mask-wearing and social distancing, including 6 feet between diners, still apply.

  • Capacity for other businesses, including moving personal services facilities, gyms and entertainment facilities (casinos, theaters, malls) will be increased to 75% capacity.

  • Capacity for indoor events will be increased to 25% of maximum occupancy, regardless of venue size. Increased occupancy is only permitted if attendees and workers are able to comply with the 6-foot physical distancing requirement.

  • Capacity for outdoor events will be increased to 50% of maximum occupancy, regardless of venue size.  Increased occupancy is only permitted if attendees and workers are able to comply with the 6-foot physical distancing requirement.

Pennsylvania's COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Pennsylvania hospitals began receiving shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine the week of Dec. 14; the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine the week of Dec. 21. The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine was first allocated to Pennsylvania the week of March 1, and the commonwealth is using it for a special initiative involving educators. Vaccination numbers for Pennsylvania do not include Philadelphia, which is its own jurisdiction, or federal facilities, which are working directly with the federal government.

This week, a total of 5,234,140 doses will have been allocated through March 27.

As of March 23, a total of 4,510,213 doses will have been administered:

  • 1,592,188 people are fully vaccinated; with a seven-day moving average of more than 84,500 people per day receiving vaccinations.
  • 3,026,180 people are partially vaccinated (receiving one dose of a two-dose vaccine)

CDC Updates Strategies for Schools

On March 19, the CDC releases updated strategies for K–12 schools. According to the updates, schools can safely open for in-person instruction during COVID-19 and remain open with this guidance:

  • Combine prevention steps. Use masks that cover the nose and mouth with no gaps, keep students in classrooms at least 3 feet apart from each other, promote handwashing, maintain healthy facilities, and do contact tracing when needed.
  • Provide clear guidance when students need to be more than 3 feet apart.
  • Teachers and staff should stay 6 feet (2 arm lengths) apart from students and others.
  • Consider community transmission levels in making decisions around school operations.


CMS Provides New COVID-19 Resources

CMS has compiled resources and materials to help share important and relevant information on the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Updated Nursing Home Guidance with Revised Visitation Recommendations - facilities should allow responsible indoor visitation at all times and for all residents, regardless of vaccination status of the resident, or visitor, unless certain scenarios arise that would limit visitation.
  • CMS Office of Minority Health has developed a COVID-19 Vaccine Resources website for vulnerable populations to include many Federal resources organized for partners, health care professionals and consumers.

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.

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

 Previously Published but Relevant Headlines

COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Map

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has launched a provider map along with an eligibility survey on its website to help those eligible, including health care workers not affiliated with a hospital, find a location to schedule a vaccine appointment.

Users can search by location, type in an address or zip code and filter by facility type.

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

Briefings and Updates from Pa. Governor Wolf and the Department of Health

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 |