COVID-19 Updates and Resources


As the world continues to respond to the developing Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak, officials in Pennsylvania are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  in monitoring the outbreak as well as taking steps to protect our communities and public health.

PCNP Resources (Updated on May 20, 2020):

Previous Updates:

May 13, 2020

May 6, 2020

May 1, 2020

April 21, 2020

April 20, 2020

April 12-18, 2020 Updates

April 5-11, 2020 Updates

March 29-April 4, 2020 Updates

March 22-28, 2020 Updates 

State and Global Resources


May 20, 2020

Department of Health | Health Care Providers | May 9, 2020 & More
Click here to view the May 9, 2020 updated COVID-19 guidance from the Department of Health related to the practice of health care providers.


Click here to view other COVID-19 resource material provided by the Department of Health to health care professionals.


Department of Health | COVID-19 Cases Associated with Nursing Homes and Personal Care Homes to Date
Click here to view the number of COVID-19 cases by county associated with nursing homes and personal care homes.


Department of State | Response to Governor’s Phased-In Opening of PA | Licensing Concerns
Click here to view the statement by the Department of State as to practicing in the phase-in approach by Governor Wolf.


Department of Community and Economic Development | Business Guidance | Updated May 6, 2020
Click here to view the Business Guidance to open up your business during the phase-in approach in Pennsylvania.


Department of State | Possible License Suspension or Revocation | Opening in Red and Possibly Yellow Phase Counties | May 12, 2020
PCNP has received inquiries from nurse practitioners related to engaging in their profession in a field that may not be deemed essential under the Governor’s Executive Order. The below response is what PCNP received from the BON:

Good afternoon—
The Department of State has not revoked any licenses related to the governor’s stay-at-home order. Currently, when complaints are received related to licensees practicing despite that order, they are referred to the Department of Health and to local law enforcement agencies.  
It is important to note, though, that one of the Department of State’s core missions in its licensing responsibilities is to safeguard public health and safety. While the process to permanently revoke a license can take many months to play out because of due process considerations, the Department’s licensing boards have the authority to immediately suspend a license temporarily as disciplinary action is pending. Licensees should be aware that continuing their practice or opening a business contrary to the emergency order does put their license in jeopardy.


PCNP recommends that if your type of practice is not considered essential under the Governor’s Executive Order and the existing county phase-in approach, that you not engage in such practice. Should you decide to practice when you are not permitted by the Governor’s Order, you may be subject to an immediate temporary suspension of your license with a possible continued suspension or revocation of your professional license. If you are unsure where your practice is during the phase-in approach of opening up Pennsylvania, we recommend you consult your attorney.


Medical Reserve Corps | Southwest Pennsylvania Counties | Volunteers Needed

Southwestern Pennsylvania Counties are preparing for continued patient care needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Allegheny County Health Department recruits, trains and mobilizes a volunteer Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) for these community emergencies. Nurse Practitioners are an integral part of the Medical Reserve Corps and will be needed to provide care at Alternative Care Sites in Pittsburgh should a surge arise. Commit to helping your community today by applying online through Allegheny Health Department’s MRC volunteer registration.  

Click here to register to volunteer for the MRC.

NOTE: This site is for all volunteers, those with medical experience and those without. Please indicate whether you are a medical or non-medical volunteer. Also, please sign the consent form to allow a background check and verification of credentials for medical license holders. MRC coordinators will contact you to review the program and answer any further questions.

Click here for more information about the MRC and emergency preparedness.


Department of Health | Press Conference | May 19, 2020
Click here to view the May 19, 2020 press conference by Dr. Levine.


Department of Health and Others | Prior Press Conferences
Click here to view prior press conference by Dr. Levine, Governor Wolf and others about COVID-19 and other topics. 


Department of Health | Daily Report | May 19, 2020
Click here to view the May 19, 2020 situational report from the Department of Health.


Department of Health | COVID-19 Data by County 
Click here to view the COVID-19 Case Counts, Deaths, and Negatives.


Click here to view the Pennsylvania map for county level data.


Department of Health | COVID-19 Trajectory Animations 
Click here to view the COVID-19 trajectory animations.


Department of Health | COVID-19 Hospital Data 
Click here to view the hospital dashboard preparedness for COVID-19 patients.


May 13, 2020

Department of State | Possible License Suspension or Revocation | Opening in Red and Possibly Yellow Phase Counties | May 12, 2020
PCNP has received inquiries from nurse practitioners related to engaging in their profession in a field that may not be deemed essential under the Governor’s Executive Order. The below response is what PCNP received from the BON:


Good afternoon—
The Department of State has not revoked any licenses related to the governor’s stay-at-home order. Currently, when complaints are received related to licensees practicing despite that order, they are referred to the Department of Health and to local law enforcement agencies. 
It is important to note, though, that one of the Department of State’s core missions in its licensing responsibilities is to safeguard public health and safety. While the process to permanently revoke a license can take many months to play out because of due process considerations, the Department’s licensing boards have the authority to immediately suspend a license temporarily as disciplinary action is pending. Licensees should be aware that continuing their practice or opening a business contrary to the emergency order does put their license in jeopardy.


PCNP recommends that if your type of practice is not considered essential under the Governor’s Executive Order and the existing county phase-in approach, that you not engage in such practice. Should you decide to practice when you are not permitted by the Governor’s Order, you may be subject to an immediate temporary suspension of your license with a possible continued suspension or revocation of your professional license.


PA Health Alert Network | UPDATED Guidance | SARS-CoV-2 Laboratory Testing Comparison | May 6, 2020
Click here to review the updated May 6, 2020 guidance issued by Dr. Levine for SARS-CoV-2 laboratory testing comparison.
Click here to view the updated May 6, 2020 SARS-CoV-2 testing infographic.


PA Health Alert Network | Alert | Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Potentially Associated with COVID-19 | May 11, 2020
Click here to review the guidance in pediatric cases where children have features of Kawasaki disease or toxic shock syndrome. Early recognition and referral is essential in these cases.


PA Health Alert Network | Alert | Preparing Water Systems Prior to Reopening Buildings | May 11, 2020
Click here to review the guidance on preparing water systems with the reopening of businesses and buildings to protect from water quality degradation, such as Legionella, other pathogens, lead, disinfection byproducts, and other health issues. Flushing needs to be tailored to the building.


PA Health Alert Network | Advisory Alert | Test-based Strategies for Preventing Transmission of the Virus that Causes COVID-19 in Skilled Nursing Facilities | May 12, 2020
Click here to review the advisory guidance on universal testing of residents and staff in skilled nursing facilities.  


Department of Health | Press Conference | May 12, 2020
Click here to view the May 12, 2020 press conference by Dr. Levine and Randy Padfield, PA Emergency Management Association Director.


Department of Health and Others | Prior Press Conferences
Click here to view prior press conference by Dr. Levine, Governor Wolf and others about COVID-19 and other topics. 


Department of Health | Daily Report | May 12, 2020
Click here to view the May 12, 2020 situational report from the Department of Health.


Essential Businesses | Update | Operation Guidance | May 11, 2020
Click here for the May 11, 2020 industry operation guidance.

May 6, 2020

Medical Reserve Corps | Southwest Pennsylvania Counties | Volunteers Needed
Southwestern Pennsylvania Counties are preparing for continued patient care needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Allegheny County Health Department recruits, trains and mobilizes a volunteer Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) for these community emergencies. Nurse Practitioners are an integral part of the Medical Reserve Corps and will be needed to provide care at Alternative Care Sites in Pittsburgh should a surge arise. Commit to helping your community today by applying online through Allegheny Health Department’s MRC volunteer registration.  


Click here to register to volunteer for the MRC.


NOTE: This site is for all volunteers, those with medical experience and those without. Please indicate whether you are a medical or non-medical volunteer.  Also, please sign the consent form to allow a background check and verification of credentials for medical license holders. MRC coordinators will contact you to review the program and answer any further questions.


Click here for more information about the MRC and emergency preparedness.


PA Health Alert Network | Update Alert | Return to Work for Healthcare Personnel with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 | May 1, 2020
Click here to view the May 1, 2020 updated guidance issued by Dr. Levine for the return to work for healthcare personnel with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.


PA Health Alert Network | Advisory Alert | Discontinuation of Transmission-Based Precautions for Patients with COVID-19 | May 1, 2020
Click here to view the May 1, 2020 advisory guidance issued by Dr. Levine for the discontinuation of transmission-based precautions for patients with COVID-19.


PA Health Alert Network | Alert | SARS-CoV-2 Laboratory Testing Comparison | May 4, 2020
Click here to view the May 4, 2020 guidance issued by Dr. Levine for SARS-CoV-2 laboratory testing comparison.


Click here to view the SARS-CoV-2 testing infographic.


PA Health Alert Network | Update Alert | Interim Guidance on Discontinuing Non-Healthcare Isolation for Persons with COVID-19 | May 4, 2020
Click here to view the May 4, 2020 interim guidance issued by Dr. Levine on the discontinuing non-healthcare isolation for persons with COVID-19.


Governor Wolf | May 1, 2020 Letter | Opening up PA Starts May 8
Click here to view Governor Wolf’s May 1, 2020 reopening of 24 counties beginning May 8.


Click here to view the state map to see which counties will move to the yellow phase on May 8.


Click here to view the COVID-19 reopening phases.


Department of Health | Press Conference | May 5, 2020
Click here to view the May 5, 2020 press conference by Dr. Levine.


Department of Health and Others | Prior Press Conferences
Click here to view prior press conference by Dr. Levine, Governor Wolf and others about COVID-19 and other topics. 


Department of Health | Daily Report | May 5, 2020
Click here to view the May 5, 2020 situational report from the Department of Health.


Department of Health | COVID-19 Data by County 
Click here to view the COVID-19 Case Counts, Deaths, and Negatives.


Click here to view the Pennsylvania map for county level data.


Department of Health | COVID-19 Trajectory Animations 
Click here to view the COVID-19 trajectory animations.


Department of Health | COVID-19 Hospital Data 
Click here to view the hospital dashboard preparedness for COVID-19 patients

May 1, 2020

PA Health Alert Network | Alert | Specimen Collections Guidance | April 30, 2020
Click here to view the April 30, 2020 Interim Guidelines for Collecting Clinical Specimens for COVID-19 Testing.


Department of Health | Press Conference | April 30, 2020
Click here to view the April 30, 2020 press conference by Dr. Levine.


Department of Health | Daily Report | April 29, 2020
Click here to view the April 29, 2020 situational report from the Department of Health.


Essential Businesses | Update | April 28, 2020
Click here for the April 28, 2020 essential business guidance.


COVID-19 Guide | Resources, Phased-In Opening  and Unemployment Information
Click here to view the updated COVID-19 guide to resources, the phased in approach to open up Pennsylvania and information about unemployment.

April 21, 2020

Department of Health | April 21, 2020 Update | Figures and Links to Other Resources and Orders
Click here to view the April 21, 2020 press release from the Department of Health.


Department of Health Begins COVID-19 Testing Site | Northeast Pennsylvania | 49 Tested on First Day
On Monday, April 20, 2020, the Wolf Administration tested 49 symptomatic first responders and health care workers during the first day of the administration's COVID-19 testing site at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County.


The drive-thru testing site is being held in the parking lot of the Mohegan Sun Pocono Arena and pre-registration is required. Beginning Tuesday, April 21, the site will be open from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. daily to test Northeastern Pennsylvania residents who are symptomatic and either over 65, a first responder or a health care worker. Registration is required one day in advance and can be found on the Department of Health's website, health.pa.gov.


Appointments are capped at 200 per day. No onsite registration is available.
Questions? Call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258).


Governor Wolf & Dr. Levine | Press Release, Orders & Updated Essential Business List | April 20, 2020
Click here to view the April 20, 2020 Press Release regarding changes for certain businesses to reopen.


Click here for the April 20, 2020 Amendment to the March 19, 2020 Order of Governor Wolf.


Click here for the April 20, 2020 Amendment to the March 19, 2020 Order of Dr. Levine.


Click here for the April 20, 2020 updated Essential Business List.


Department of Health & HAP | Interim Pennsylvania Crisis Standards of Care for Pandemic Guidelines
Click here for the April 10, 2020 Interim Crisis Standard of Care Guidance in a Pandemic situation.  


American Health Law Association | Article | Ventilator Allocation: Considerations During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Click here to read an article on ventilator allocation during the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes valuable resource information in the endnotes.


PA Health Alert Network | ALERT | Interim Guidelines for Exposed Life-Sustaining Business Workers
Click here to view the April 19, 2020 guidance for life-sustaining business workers ability to work following potential exposure to COVID-19.


PA Health Alert Network | ALERT | Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Known or Patients Under Investigation for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in a Healthcare Setting
Click here to view the April 16, 2020 guidance on how to address patients with suspected or known COVID-19 positive test results.


PA Health Alert Network | ALERT | Cohorting Residents | Skilled Nursing Care Facilities
Click here to view the April 14, 2020 guidance on how to cohort residents in a skilled nursing care facility due to COVID-19.


PA Health Alert Network | ALERT | Laboratory Test Results
The Pennsylvania Department of Health (Department) has identified a large number of laboratory test results submitted without key variables including patient date of birth, address, and telephone number. These demographic fields are essential for correct jurisdiction assignment and for the timely initiation of case investigations, particularly related to COVID-19 exposures.


In addition, race and ethnicity data are missing from more than 60% of reports submitted to the Department. This information is necessary to understand public health disparities across the Commonwealth and to guide resource needs and allocation.


Providers should always include patient name, date of birth, address, telephone number, and race and ethnicity information when completing the laboratory submission/requisition form for patients being referred for testing of a reportable condition, including COVID-19. If this information is not included on the laboratory submission/requisition form, the ordering facility should enter these demographic elements into PA-NEDSS as mandated under PA Code, Title 28, Chapter 27.


Click here to view the April 14, 2020 guidance.


PA Health Alert Network | ALERT | Interim Guidelines for Serologic Testing and COVID-19 Diagnostics
Click here to view the April 10, 2020 guidance on serologic testing and COVID-19 diagnostics.


PA Health Alert Network | ALERT | Patients Waiting or Who Have Positive COVID-19 Test Results | Close Contact Reporting | Healthcare Provider COVID-19 Positive Test Guidance
Click here to view the April 6, 2020 guidance to patients waiting for test results or who tested positive for COVID-19, close contact reports and guidance to healthcare providers who test positive for COVID-19. Healthcare providers should give the attached documents to any patient being evaluated for COVID-19.

 

Instructions for Patients Waiting for COVID-19 Test Results | Click here for document.


Instructions for Patients with Positive Test Results | Click here for document.


Click here for CDC guidance for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.


Instructions for Close Contacts of Patients Diagnosed with COVID-19 | Click here for document.


PA Health Alert Network | ALERT | Universal Masking of Healthcare Workers and Staff in Congregate Care Settings
Click here for the April 3, 2020 guidance on universal masking.


PA Health Alert Network | ALERT | Interim Guidelines for Collecting Clinical Specimens for COVID-19 Testing
Click here for the April 3, 2020 guidance on collecting COVID-19 clinical specimens.


Department of Aging | Volunteers Needed
Click here to see how you can volunteer.


State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Pennsylvania (SERVEPA) | Volunteers Needed
Click here to be included in the emergency volunteer registry.


IHME | Projections | Pennsylvania | COVID-19
Click here to view the Pennsylvania projections. If you slide your mouse across each bell curve (without clicking), you can obtain the projected data for a specific date.


Secretary of Health | April 15, 2020 Order | Mandatory Mask and Other Requirements
Click here to review the April 15, 2020 Order by Dr. Levine, which includes mandatory mask wearing by employees and customers.


Department of Health | Hospital Preparedness Dashboard
Click here for the new link on the Department of Health website regarding hospital data. Once in the link, there is a picture of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. If you click on the county of interest on the map, it will provide you more specific data for that county, including medical equipment available such as beds and ventilators.


Click here for the mobile version.


Department of Health | COVID-19 Daily Report | April 20, 2020
Click here to view the April 20, 2020 COVID-19 daily report from the Department of Health. 


Department of Health | Number of COVID-19 cases and death | By County
Click here to view the COVID-19 cases and deaths in each county.  


Department of Health | Pennsylvania COVID-19 guide
Click here for the COVID-19 guide of resources.


Department of Health | Daily Press Conference | April 21, 2020
Click here to view the April 21, 2020 press conference by Dr. Levine.


Board of Nursing | Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine
Click here for the guidance on how to prescribe chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. 


Board of Nursing | Waivers and Guidance
Click here for the various waivers from the Board of Nursing.
Click here for the general link to the Board of Nursing.


Board of Nursing | Prescriptive Authority | 2nd application for prescriptive authority
PCNP has had requests from its members as to how to determine the DATE OF FILING to allow a NP who files a new application for prescriptive authority in another area of a hospital, health system or another office or location separate from where they currently work to start working in the new area or location and use their prescriptive authority. The question is when does the additional prescriptive authority that must be sent to the Board of Nursing (BON) take effect (Date of Filing) knowing that you have 6 months to operate without the formal approval from the BON so long as you follow the waiver guidelines. The BON has provided guidance on that issue: The State Board of Nursing believes that the date the parties execute the agreement is the same date that it is submitted to the Board.


NOTE: PCNP recommends that NPs submit their additional new application for prescriptive authority to the BON by certified mail, return receipt requested so that you are certain the BON has received your application. Given the overwhelming number of requests by the BON, sending your application certified mail, return receipt requested protects you in the event your application is lost.

April 20, 2020

Department of Health & HAP | Interim Pennsylvania Crisis Standards of Care for Pandemic Guidelines
Click here for the April 10, 2020 Interim Crisis Standard of Care Guidance in a Pandemic situation.  


American Health Law Association | Article | Ventilator Allocation: Considerations During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Click here to read an article on ventilator allocation during the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes valuable resource information in the endnotes.


PA Health Alert Network | ALERT | Interim Guidelines for Exposed Life-Sustaining Business Workers
Click here to view the April 19, 2020 guidance for life-sustaining business workers ability to work following potential exposure to COVID-19.


PA Health Alert Network | ALERT | Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Known or Patients Under Investigation for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in a Healthcare Setting
Click here to view the April 16, 2020 guidance on how to address patients with suspected or known COVID-19 positive test results.


PA Health Alert Network | ALERT | Cohorting Residents | Skilled Nursing Care Facilities
Click here to view the April 14, 2020 guidance on how to cohort residents in a skilled nursing care facility due to COVID-19.


PA Health Alert Network | ALERT | Laboratory Test Results
The Pennsylvania Department of Health (Department) has identified a large number of laboratory test results submitted without key variables including patient date of birth, address, and telephone number. These demographic fields are essential for correct jurisdiction assignment and for the timely initiation of case investigations, particularly related to COVID-19 exposures.


In addition, race and ethnicity data are missing from more than 60% of reports submitted to the Department. This information is necessary to understand public health disparities across the Commonwealth and to guide resource needs and allocation.


Providers should always include patient name, date of birth, address, telephone number, and race and ethnicity information when completing the laboratory submission/requisition form for patients being referred for testing of a reportable condition, including COVID-19. If this information is not included on the laboratory submission/requisition form, the ordering facility should enter these demographic elements into PA-NEDSS as mandated under PA Code, Title 28, Chapter 27.


Click here to view the April 14, 2020 guidance.


PA Health Alert Network | ALERT | Interim Guidelines for Serologic Testing and COVID-19 Diagnostics
Click here to view the April 10, 2020 guidance on serologic testing and COVID-19 diagnostics.


PA Health Alert Network | ALERT | Patients Waiting or Who Have Positive COVID-19 Test Results | Close Contact Reporting | Healthcare Provider COVID-19 Positive Test Guidance
Click here to view the April 6, 2020 guidance to patients waiting for test results or who tested positive for COVID-19, close contact reports and guidance to healthcare providers who test positive for COVID-19. Healthcare providers should give the attached documents to any patient being evaluated for COVID-19.

 

Instructions for Patients Waiting for COVID-19 Test Results | Click here for document.


Instructions for Patients with Positive Test Results | Click here for document.


Click here for CDC guidance for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.


Instructions for Close Contacts of Patients Diagnosed with COVID-19 | Click here for document.


PA Health Alert Network | ALERT | Universal Masking of Healthcare Workers and Staff in Congregate Care Settings
Click here for the April 3, 2020 guidance on universal masking.


PA Health Alert Network | ALERT | Interim Guidelines for Collecting Clinical Specimens for COVID-19 Testing
Click here for the April 3, 2020 guidance on collecting COVID-19 clinical specimens.


Hospital Emergency Loan Program (HELP) | Application Enrollment Period | April 13-20, 2020
A new state loan program will provide critical funding to hospitals during the COVID-19 health emergency and to obtain an application. Eligible hospitals can apply for up to $10 million in short-term funding to deal with the surge in patients. Some of the eligible uses of funding include building or constructing temporary structures, retrofitting facilities, and leasing property, equipment and supplies. Applications for the Hospital Emergency Loan Program (HELP) will only be accepted between April 13-20. Click here to obtain an application.


Department of Aging | Volunteers Needed
Click here to see how you can volunteer.


State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Pennsylvania (SERVEPA) | Volunteers Needed
Click here to be included in the emergency volunteer registry.


IHME | Projections | Pennsylvania | COVID-19
Click here to view the Pennsylvania projections. The projection date for peak has CHANGED. It is now projected that Pennsylvania will reach its peak of daily deaths on April 18, 2020, with hospital resource use peak on April 16, 2020. If you slide your mouse across each bell curve (without clicking), you can obtain the projected data for a specific date.


Secretary of Health | April 15, 2020 Order | Mandatory Mask and Other Requirements
Click here to review the April 15, 2020 Order by Dr. Levine, which includes mandatory mask wearing by employees and customers.


Department of Health | Hospital Preparedness Dashboard
Click here
 for the new link on the Department of Health website regarding hospital data. Once in the link, there is a picture of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. If you click on the county of interest on the map, it will provide you more specific data for that county, including medical equipment available such as beds and ventilators.


Click here for the mobile version.


Department of Health | COVID-19 Daily Report | April 19, 2020
Click here to view the April 19, 2020 COVID-19 daily report from the Department of Health. 


Department of Health | Number of COVID-19 cases and death | By County
Click here to view the COVID-19 cases and deaths in each county. 


Department of Health | Pennsylvania COVID-19 guide
Click here for the COVID-19 guide of resources.


Department of Health | Daily Press Conference | April 20, 2020
Click here to view the April 20, 2020 press conference by Dr. Levine and Governor Wolf.


Board of Nursing | Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine
Click here for the guidance on how to prescribe chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. 


Board of Nursing | Waivers and Guidance
Click here for the various waivers from the Board of Nursing.
Click here for the general link to the Board of Nursing.


State and Global Resources

For all Pennsylvania Department of Health updates:  https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

For all national CDC updates:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

For global updates: https://ncov2019.live/data

CMS posts FAQs on Medicaid.gov: 

On March 12, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to the Medicaid.gov website to aid state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies in their response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  CMS is taking this action in its continuing efforts to protect the health and safety of providers and patients, including those who are covered by Medicaid and CHIP.

A press release with further information can be found here:   https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-publishes-first-set-covid-19-frequently-asked-questions-faqs-state-medicaid-and-childrens-health

The COVID-19 FAQs for State Medicaid and CHIP agencies can be found here:  https://www.medicaid.gov/state-resource-center/disaster-response-toolkit/covid19/index.html

These FAQs, and earlier CMS actions in response to the COVID-19 virus, are part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts. To keep up with the important work CMS is doing in response to COVID-19, please visit the Current Emergencies Website.

Important Information: 

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others circulating among animals, including camels, cats and bats.  The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Symptoms of the  COVID-19  can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath 

The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. 

How can the coronavirus spread?

Human coronaviruses spread just like the flu or a cold:

  • Through the air by coughing or sneezing;
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it;
  • Occasionally, fecal contamination.

How can I help protect myself?

Prevention:

  • Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Do not use your hands!
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items.
  • Contain: if you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.
In addition, it is recommended that Pennsylvanians take time to prepare now. View the PA Emergency Preparedness Guide.

 

Resources