April 28, 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 Updates Mask Guidance Following CDC Announcement

On Tuesday, April 27, Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam announced that DOH has updated its mask guidance to reflect the announcement made by the CDC.

The CDC listed activities that fully vaccinated people can do, including:
  • Visiting with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.
  • Visiting unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.
  • Participating in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues.
  • Resuming domestic travel and refraining from testing before or after travel, or self-quarantine after travel.
  • Refraining from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refraining from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.
  • Refraining from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings.
  • Refraining from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic.
  • Refraining from routine COVID-19 testing if asymptomatic and if feasible.
However, for now, fully vaccinated people are still advised to continue to:
  • Take precautions like wearing a well-fitted mask in indoor public settings.
  • Wear masks that fit snuggly when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease.
  • Wear well-fitted masks when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people from multiple households.
  • Avoid indoor large-sized, in-person gatherings.
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers.
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations.

Pennsylvania DOH Notifies COVID-19 Vaccine Providers They Can Resume Administering Johnson & Johnson Vaccinations

On Friday, April 23, 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Health notified all COVID-19 vaccine providers that they may resume administering doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine. The move follows updated guidance announced today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The department previously recommended the pause in administering Johnson & Johnson vaccine until further guidance from the CDC and FDA was available as the federal agencies continued to review the incidents of rare blood clots that occurred within two weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices held an emergency meeting and determined that these incidents are extremely rare and that the vaccine is safe and effective for all individuals moving forward.

The cases of the combined rare blood clots with low platelet counts occurred in women primarily between the ages 18 and 48 who were among the 6.8 million Americans who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Out of the more than 7.6 million vaccine doses that have been administered in Pennsylvania, only 271,132 doses have been Johnson & Johnson.

Gov. Wolf, Health Agencies, Community Partners Helping Pennsylvanians Who Cannot Leave Home Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

Governor Wolf along with various state agencies and community groups are working together to assist Pennsylvanians who are not able to leave their homes to get vaccinated.

Collaborative efforts between Pennsylvania DHS, Pennsylvania Area Agencies on Aging and local governments are already taking place to locate people who cannot leave their homes and get them vaccinated, including those Pennsylvanians who are not receiving services through the Department of Human Services or the Department of Aging. Governor Wolf said these groups are also working with housing associations, nursing care organizations, federally qualified health centers, and other community partners to reach as many people who need to be vaccinated. 

Pennsylvania's COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Pennsylvania is currently administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine. 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 8,326,640 doses will have been allocated through May 1.

As of April 28, a total of 8,226,293 doses will have been administered:

  • First/single doses: 5,115,217
  • Second doses: 3,200,270

POMA Members Can Receive PPE Discounts

Through POMA's partnership with ActionPPE.org, we are able 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 | www.poma.org