The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of State (DOS) are reminding healthcare providers of guidance released and updated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the DOH on numerous aspects related to the COVID-19 response. This guidance is for all healthcare providers including those practicing in outpatient and urgent care settings and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). Coordination and collaboration with all level of healthcare providers is essential for a measured response to COVID-19. As a frontline practitioner, we depend on your expertise and encourage you to remain up to date as information continues to change and evolve. The following are critically important guidance documents for your review:
Guidance for Preventing Exposure and Transmission
- Interim Guidance for Healthcare Facilities: Preparing for Community Transmission of COVID-19 in the United States available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/healthcare-facilities/guidance-hcf.html
- Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/infection-control/control-recommendations.html
Guidance on reporting, testing and specimen collection
- PA Department of Health Interim COVID 19 Specimen Collection and Testing Guidance available at: www.health.pa.gov/topics/Documents/HAN/2020-PAHAN-487-03-14-ALT%20-%20Interim%20C.pdf
- PA Department of Health specimen collection and shipping guidance available at: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/Documents/HAN/COVID%2019%20Specimen%20Collection%20Guidance.pdf
- PA Department of Health testing fact sheet available at: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/Documents/Diseases%20and%20Conditions/COVID19%20Testing%20Factsheet.pdf
- Interim Guidelines for Collecting, Handling, and Testing Clinical Specimens from Persons for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/lab/guidelines-clinical-specimens.html
We encourage you to check the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health websites regularly for updates. To sign up to receive Health Advisories from the Pennsylvania Department of Health please register using https://han.pa.gov.
Thank you for your continued participation and assistance in this response. As a healthcare provider you are uniquely positioned to support a healthy Pennsylvania for all and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Rachel L Levine, MD Kathy Boockvar
Secretary of Health Secretary of the Commonwealth