May 27, 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!


Pennsylvania COVID-19 Testing & Contact Tracing Update

Yesterday, Governor Wolf released updated information on testing and contact tracing strategies as part of the phased reopening of Pennsylvania.  He noted that 300 testing sites through the Commonwealth administered 80,000 COVID-19 tests last week.  This is up from 50,000 tests at the end of April.  He said that contact tracing has also increased from 433 people to nearly 1,700 people in the past two weeks.

Testing is an essential component to make sure residents in long-term care facilities are safe.  Updated guidance was issued to hospitals on May 23.  Guidance was issued on May 12 for skilled nursing homes.

Click here to find a COVID-19 testing site near you.

Pennsylvania Continues to Distribute Remdesivir Across Commonwealth

Over the last two weeks, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has distributed more than 18,000 doses of remdesivir to hospitals across the Commonwealth.  The distribution of the investigational antiviral medication is based on the number of COVID-19 patients at the hospital over a recent seven-day period, and the severity of the illness of those patients.  While there is limited information on the safety and effectiveness of using remdesivir to treat COVID-19 patients, it was shown in a clinical trial to shorten the recovery time in some patients, which is why the FDA has authorized the emergency use of the medication for COVID-19 treatment.

PPE Material Distribution

During today's press conference, Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine discussed the PPE supply and distribution to the healthcare system. To date, nearly 5 million N95 masks, nearly 300,000 hospital gowns, more than 1.6 million procedure masks, nearly 2 million sets of gloves, nearly 180,000 face shields, and more than 300,000 bottles of hand sanitizer have been distributed. The department continues to purchase whatever is available to ensure sufficient protection and resources for medical personnel.

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.

Guidance for Non-Urgent Procedures in Phased Reopening Plan

On May 9, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA-DOH) revised guidance for health care providers related to performing non-urgent procedures as a component of Governor Wolf's phased reopening plan. Providers may resume non-urgent and elective care in addition to providing urgent and emergency care, only when appropriate PPE is available and telemedicine is not clinically sufficient.  All patients should be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and social distancing should be maintained while on premises.  Patients should always wash or sanitize hands frequently and wear a mask.

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.

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 |