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Guidance on COVID-19 for Health Care Providers in Pennsylvania

May 9, 2020

The Department of Health (Department) is revising guidance for health care providers as a component of Governor Wolf's phased reopening plan, particularly related to performing non-urgent procedures. As Pennsylvania slowly reopens, the following guidance should be followed by all health care providers, as defined by the Governor's Order issued on March 19, 2020, and subsequently amended, except hospitals, ambulatory surgical facilities, dental practices, and any others operating under separate Department guidance.

All such health care providers should consider the operating protocols below throughout the COVID-19 pandemic state-wide regardless of region or county reopening color designation.

Providers may resume non-urgent and elective care in addition to providing urgent and emergency care, only when appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is available and telemedicine is not clinically sufficient. Each health care provider will need to apply their clinical judgment along with their knowledge of the incidences of COVID-19 cases in their area, the needs of their patients and staff, and the availability of any necessary supplies to assess whether to re-engage in the provision of non-urgent or elective care. All patients should be screened for symptoms of COVID-19, such as by questionnaire of symptoms, including a temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, cough, or shortness of breath, or other acceptable method, before arriving at the facility or office. Social distancing should be maintained while in the facility or office. Patients should always wash or sanitize hands frequently and wear a mask.