March 9, 2022

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

PA Department of Health Highlights PA’s Transition Toward Endemic

On February 25th, Acting Secretary of Health Keara Klinepeter provided an update on the commonwealth’s response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and highlighted preparations being made to continue protecting public health, as the commonwealth transitions toward the endemic stage of COVID-19.

Vaccines and therapeutic treatments are widely available across the state while businesses, schools, and residents now have the tools and knowledge they need to move beyond the current phase of COVID-19. Klinepeter stressed that moving forward does not mean ignoring COVID-19 but rather using the knowledge and tools we have to make smart decisions guided by public health research to keep ourselves and our communities safer.

CDC Relaxes Mask Recommendations and Changes Metrics for Determining Community Spread of COVID-19

On February 25th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed mask recommendations for most Americans. With 70% of the US population is areas of low or medium risk of COVID, the recommendation for universal indoor masking has been dropped. The federal mask mandate covering planes, airports, trains and other public transportation is in effect until at least March 18.

The CDC is also using different metrics to determine community spread. Now, in addition to caseloads, hospitalizations, current beds occupied by COVID patients and hospital capacity will be used to to calculate local COVID risk.

A color-coded map is now used to indicate high, medium and low community spread to help the public determine if they should wear masks in their area. Click here to view the map.

Federal Government Offers Four Additional Free COVID-19 Tests Per Household

The Biden administration announced that starting this week, each household in the United States can request an additional four COVID-19 test kits for free on the website.  If households never requested the first four kits, there is still time to do so and receive 8 free kits in total.

Pennsylvania's COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Pennsylvania is currently administering the Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine, the Spikevax (Moderna) 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.

According to the PA Department of Health, as of March 9th, 18,710,010 total doses have been administered, including 3,239,945 booster doses since August 13, 2021 and 563,080 pediatric doses (aged 5-11) since November 2, 2021.

There are 7,262,754 fully vaccinated people in Pennsylvania.  According to the CDC, as of February 28th, 76.5% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated.

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

Previously Published but Relevant Headlines

Become a COVID-19 Vaccine Provider

POMA is working with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) to spread the word that YOU can become a COVID-19 vaccine provider!

Pennsylvania's Acting Physician General Denise Johnson, MD spoke about the DOH's current vaccine objective, pivoting from larger/mass vaccination sites to community physician practices. Enroll as a provider and administer the vaccine in your office - click here to access the enrollment form.

Read the full message from Dr. Johnson regarding this important initiative and how you can keep your community healthy.

PA DOH Video Resource About COVID Vaccine Safety

The Pennsylvania Department of Health Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Director of the Vaccine Education Center and Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Paul Offit have developed a video resource for Pennsylvanians to answer questions about COVID vaccine safety. The video includes a review of the vaccine approval process through the FDA, including the Emergency Use Authorization. They also discuss information on the increasing scientific data on the safety of vaccines for children and pregnant women and the effectiveness of the vaccine against variants, with a highlighted focus on effectiveness against the delta variant.

Dr. Johnson said "With so much information and misinformation out there, access to reliable and trusted sources can help you make the best decision for you and your family... It's essential that we continue to inform and educate Pennsylvanians about the COVID-19 vaccines, because good information leads to good decisions."

Anyone can access and share this video resource on Facebook or PAcast.

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 |