March 10, 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

CDC Releases New Guidance for People Who Are Fully Vaccinated 

On Monday, March 8, the CDC released its first set of public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people. This guidance will be updated and expanded based on the level of community spread of SARS-CoV-2, the proportion of the population that is fully vaccinated, and the rapidly evolving science on COVID-19 vaccines.

Read the Guidance ►

Gov. Wolf Revises Mitigation Order On Gatherings And Lifts Out-Of-State Travel Restrictions

On Monday, March 1, the Wolf Administration announced revised and lifted mitigation restrictions which include:

  • Revised maximum occupancy limits for indoor events to allow for 15% of maximum occupancy, regardless of venue size. Core public health measures such as face covering (mask-wearing), social distancing, and hand hygiene still must be enforced. The 15% of maximum occupancy is permitted only if attendees and workers are able to comply with the 6-foot physical distancing requirement.

  • Revised maximum occupancy limits for outdoor events to allow for 20% of maximum occupancy, regardless of venue size. Core public health measures such as face covering (mask-wearing), social distancing, and hand hygiene still must be enforced. The 20% of maximum occupancy is permitted only if attendees and workers are able to comply with the 6-foot physical distancing requirement.

  • Eliminate out-of-state travel restrictions.  In November, the Department of Health provided an updated travel order requiring anyone over the age of 11 who visits from another state to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or place themselves in a travel quarantine for 14 days upon entering Pennsylvania. This order was rescinded. The current downward trend of cases nationwide and implementation of testing requirements and universal face covering on public transportation and transportation hubs are reducing the risk that interstate travel is a vector of disease transmission.

Pennsylvania's COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Pennsylvania hospitals began receiving shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine the week of Dec. 14 and 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 4,179,220 doses will have been allocated through March 13:

  • 254,150 first/single doses will have been allocated this week;
  • 225,890 second doses will have been allocated this week.

Philly Adds HIV to List of Medical Conditions Eligible for COVID Vaccine

The Philadelphia City Health Department recently added HIV to the list of medical conditions making a resident eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. In Pennsylvania, people living with HIV have been eligible for a COVID vaccine in the current distribution phase but up until February 23, that was not the case in Philadelphia, which has separate vaccine guidelines from the rest of the state.

In the current phase of vaccine distribution, the city’s guidelines prioritize: people 75 years of age or older; frontline essential workers; persons residing in congregate settings and people with certain health conditions. Those health conditions include cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pregnancy, Down syndrome, heart conditions, compromised immune system due to a solid organ transplant, severe obesity, sickle cell disease and smoking. On Feb. 23, HIV was added to the list.

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

CMS Takes Further Steps to Ensure Medicare Beneficiaries Have Wide Access to COVID-19 Antibody Treatment

The FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the investigational monoclonal antibody therapy, bamlanivimab and etesevimab, administered together, for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients with positive COVID-19 test results who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization. Bamlanivimab and etesevimab, administered together, may only be administered in settings in which health care providers have immediate access to medications to treat a severe infusion reaction, such as anaphylaxis, and the ability to activate the Emergency Medical System (EMS), as necessary. Review the Fact Sheet for Health Care Providers EUA of Bamlanivimab and Etesevimab regarding the limitations of authorized use when administered together.

During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), Medicare will cover and pay for these infusions the same way it covers and pays for COVID-19 vaccines (when furnished consistent with the EUA).

CMS identified specific code(s) for the monoclonal antibody product and specific administration code(s) for Medicare payment: Eli Lilly and Company’s Antibody Bamlanivimab and Etesevimab, (ZIP) EUA effective February 9, 2021:


  • Long descriptor: Injection, bamlanivimab and etesevimab, 2100 mg
  • Short descriptor: bamlanivimab and etesevima


  • Long Descriptor: intravenous infusion, bamlanivimab and etesevimab, includes infusion and post administration monitoring
  • Short Descriptor: bamlan and etesev infusion 

POMA Advocates for COVID-19 Vaccine Access

In January's issue of the POMA Newsletter, POMA President Gene Battistella, DO highlighted POMA's advocacy efforts relating to COVID-19 vaccine access. Below is an excerpt of his column:

"[Since the COVID vaccine rollout plan was published in late December,] POMA has been advocating for our members on the need for vaccines for all.  We are aware of the disparities of availability of the vaccine, especially for physicians and groups without ties to health care systems, universities, or other entities.  POMA led a group advocating to Governor Wolf and Health Secretary Levine on behalf of these, and all Pennsylvania physicians.  Government officials took note and have made accommodations for these physicians battling the pandemic on the front lines and now have provided a mechanism to obtain these much needed vaccines. Although this is an improvement, vaccine availability is still not available universally to those in need (physicians, patients, and others) and the government’s efforts are still not enough. The POMA is very aware of this fact and have heard from many of our members across the Commonwealth on this matter.  We continue to work diligently on behalf of all our members in this regard and each call has been answered and addressed as best possible.  My promise to you is that we are, and will, continue to address all matters of importance to our members, especially as we continue to address the matter of vaccine availability."

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 |