August 10, 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

HHS Renews COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

Last month, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) renewed the COVID-19 public health emergency for a 90-day extension - through October 15, 2022. Renewing the declaration ensures health care providers and state and territorial health departments have continued flexibility to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. These flexibilities support efforts such as rapid patient care during emergencies, including waivers from certain CMS requirements.

Wolf Administration Encourages Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccines

Acting Secretary of Health and Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson is encouraging all eligible children to get their COVID-19 vaccine, even if they already had COVID-19. She says, "Emerging evidence indicates that people can get added protection by getting vaccinated after they have been infected with the virus. I strongly encourage all eligible Pennsylvanians to get fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. It is critical for parents to make sure their children receive the complete series of shots for the vaccine to be as effective as possible."

The PA Department of Health notes that pharmacists across the state are only allowed to provide COVID-19 vaccines to children ages three and older. Parents seeking appointments for children under three should contact their pediatrician, family physician or other qualified physician. The website can be used to find a vaccine provider.

CDC Quarantine and Isolation Calculator

As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, the CDC is reminding the public to use its Quarantine and Isolation calculator to help determine how long one should isolate, quarantine or take other steps to prevent spreading COVID-19. People with COVID-19 and close contacts should follow the recommendations outlined by the CDC. Healthcare professionals should continue to follow the  CDC's healthcare personnel guidelines.

PA Department of Health Continues to Offer Free COVID-19 Testing

The Department of Health is offering free COVID-19 testing to the public at seven locations across the state.  Testing sites are open to anyone who feels they need a test.  Registration will be completed on-site.  Below are the current testing locations:

  • Berks County - Tuesday-Saturday - Direct Link Technologies in Reading, PA
  • Blair County - Monday-Friday - Blair County CBTs in Altoona
  • Centre County - Tuesday-Saturday - 219 S. Water Street in Bellefonte, PA
  • Clarion County - Monday-Friday - Clarion University in Clarion, PA
  • Clinton County - Tuesday-Saturday - Parsons Union Building in Lock Haven, PA
  • Erie County - Monday-Friday - Edinboro University in Edinboro, PA
  • Washington County - Monday-Friday - California University in California, PA

In addition, Pennsylvanians can find testing sites in their area on the Pennsylvania COVID-19 Viral Testing Sites locator map.

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 August 10th, 22,831,384 total doses have been administered, including 4,090,581 first booster doses since August 13, 2021; 770,596 second booster doses since March 29, 2022; 692,368 pediatric doses (aged 5-11) since November 2, 2021; and 53,169 pediatric doses (aged 0-4) since June 18, 2022.

There are 8,505,302 fully vaccinated people in Pennsylvania.

Facts on Vax Resources Available

Osteopathic physicians and their practice teams play a key role in preventing COVID-19 infections among patients and communities.  Check out the Facts on Vax website for a variety of educational materials, tools and resources that will help you discuss the importance of COVID-19 prevention with your patients.

Facts on Vax is a partnership of osteopathic organizations committee to lowering the rates of COVID-19 through prevention - POMA is a member of the coalition.  We are collaborating in partnership to prepare osteopathic physicians to discuss the importance of COVID-19 prevention, including vaccinations, with patients.

Find resources and learn more

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

Previously Published but Relevant Headlines

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 |