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​Waived and Suspended Licensing Regulations

Due to the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”), additional health care practitioners will be needed to treat ill Pennsylvanians. This need may extend beyond the capacity of the professionals currently licensed by Pennsylvania’s health-licensing boards. To increase the available number of practitioners, the Department of State requested a suspension from Governor Wolf to several provisions that create barriers to temporary licensure. The following list details the suspensions granted by the Governor and provides additional information for health care professionals on how to obtain temporary licenses.

For all inquiries, please use the email addresses found on: Board Contact Information.

Pennsylvania Allows Remote Notarization of Some Documents During Coronavirus Emergency
ISSUED 04/02/2020
The Department of State requested and received a temporary limited suspension of the Pennsylvania statute which requires physical presence of notaries for all notarial acts relating to a statement or signature on a record. Read more

Pennsylvania Waives Certain Requirements for Funeral Resident Interns
ISSUED 04/02/2020
Under the State Board of Funeral Directors' current regulations, interns whose training gap exceeds 30 days will have to start their training over from the beginning. The Governor granted a request by the Department of State and the State Board of Funeral Directors that the 30-day time period requirement for interruption be temporarily suspended until the COVID-19 emergency ends and that such time period be automatically extended to 120 days. Read more

Waiver of Temporary Permit Rule for Respiratory Therapists During Coronavirus Emergency
ISSUED 04/02/2020
The Department of State requested, and Governor Wolf granted, a temporary waiver of the requirement that applicants for a temporary respiratory therapist permit be within 30 days of their anticipated graduation date. Instead, for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, students in respiratory care education programs who wish to apply for a temporary permit must be within 90 days of their anticipated graduation date. Those impending graduates who already applied for a full license, but cannot take their exam because of the closure of test centers, may now apply for a temporary permit. Read more

Pennsylvania Extends Renewal Dates for Charitable Organizations During Coronavirus Emergency
ISSUED 04/01/2020
Due to the COVID-19 emergency, the following charitable organization registration renewal deadlines, which fall between April 30, 2020, and July 31, 2020, are extended for three months, with the renewal of each registration required to be postmarked by the 15th day of the 14th month following the close of the organization’s fiscal year. The corresponding registrations of these charitable organizations will be extended by three months as well. Read more

Pennsylvania Provides Short Term Licensure for Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons Licensed in Other States During Coronavirus Emergency
ISSUED 03/30/2020
In order to increase the number of health care practitioners available to respond to the COVID-19 emergency and to ensure continuity of patient care and services, Governor Wolf has granted the Department of State’s request to allow osteopathic physicians or surgeons from other states or Canada to be issued a “short term camp license” in Pennsylvania as a means of temporary licensure.
Read the waiver document

Reactivation for additional retirees: Temporary waivers cover more professions
ISSUED: 03/30/2020
Governor Wolf granted the Department of State’s request to temporarily waive regulations and costs for reactivation of an inactive license for additional professions and licensing boards. 
see also: Pennsylvania to Allow Retired Health Care Professionals to Bolster COVID-19 Response ISSUED 03/25/2020

Temporary Waiver of Rule for Funeral Home Directors During Coronavirus Emergency
ISSUED 03/30/2020
Federal guidelines advise social distancing that includes restricting public gatherings, including funerals, to no more than 10 people due to the coronavirus outbreak. This is making it difficult for funeral directors to accommodate a grieving family’s needs while still meeting federal and state guidance regarding social distancing. In response to these guidelines, and in acknowledgement of the role funeral directors play in providing comfort to grieving families, the Department of State requested, and Governor Wolf granted, a temporary waiver to the length of time a funeral home may retain the recently deceased person’s body before a burial.
Read the waiver document

COVID-19 License Renewal Extensions for Nurses and Others
ISSUED 03/27/2020
While the department will provide guidance encouraging licensees to renew on time, if possible, this waiver ensures that if they miss the deadline their licenses will remain valid, and they will have an additional 90 days to renew them.
Read the Press Release

State Board of Nursing: Additional Temporary Waivers
ISSUED 03/27/2020
Due to the COVID-19 emergency, the Department of State requested, and Governor Wolf granted, the extension for 90 days of certain license renewal deadlines which fall between April 30, 2020, and June 30, 2020. Any associated regulations that establish these dates are temporarily suspensed.

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine: Information for prescribers
ISSUED 03/26/2020
Suggestion for Board of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine for Prescribers: In response to COVID-19 and potential shortages of medications that may be effective against the virus such as hydroxychloroquine, prescribers should include the patient’s diagnosis on the prescription. If written for a COVID-19 diagnosis, the diagnosis has been confirmed by a positive test result and documented on the prescription. Smaller quantities of hydroxychloroquine should be prescribed for COVID-19 patients when appropriate to prevent potential shortages.

For Board of Pharmacy for Pharmacists: In response to COVID-19 and potential shortages of medications that may be effective against the virus such as hydroxychloroquine, pharmacists should verify the patient is confirmed COVID-19 positive before dispensing. Patients established on therapy or utilizing the medication for other diagnoses (e.g. Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis) should be able to continue to access without diagnosis verification. Smaller quantities of hydroxychloroquine should be dispensed to COVID-19 patients when appropriate to prevent potential shortages.
Read the suggestion document

Certain Requirements Temporarily Waived for Those Seeking Licensure as Psychologists, Social Workers, Therapists and Counselors
ISSUED 03/26/2020
Governor Wolf granted the Department of State’s request to temporarily waive additional regulations concerning the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors (SW/MFT/PC Board) and the State Board of Psychology (Psychology Board). This temporary waiver specifically applies to individuals who are not yet licensed practitioners.
Read the waiver document

Pennsylvania Waives Certain Requirements for Cosmetologists and Barbers During COVID-19 Emergency
ISSUED 03/26/2020
In response to the COVID-19 emergency, the Department of State has extended filing deadlines and waived or suspended certain other licensing requirements to prevent licenses and temporary permits from lapsing or expiring during this trying time.
Read the waiver document

Pennsylvania Provides Limited Suspension of In-person Regulatory Requirements for Notaries for Real Estate Transactions
ISSUED 03/25/2020
The Department temporary and limited suspension of 57 Pa.C.S. § 306, which requires physical presence of notaries.
Read the suspension document

Pennsylvania to Allow Retired Health Care Professionals to Bolster COVID-19 Response
ISSUED 03/25/2020
The Pennsylvania is acting to enable retired health care professionals to assist with the COVID-19 response by waiving certain licensing regulations. These new regulation suspensions increase the number of available and qualified health care practitioners in Pennsylvania by allowing retired practitioners to re-enter their field more easily...
Read the Press Release
see also: Reactivation for additional retirees: Temporary waivers cover more professions ISSUED: 03/30/2020

Pennsylvania Expands Access to Pharmacy Services
ISSUED 03/22/2020
The Wolf administration is removing barriers for pharmacies to provide services for Pennsylvanians in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Governor Wolf has granted a request from the Pennsylvania Department of State to suspend certain pharmacy regulations to enable more flexible and available services during the coronavirus emergency.
Read the Press Release
Read the suspension document

Some License Requirements for Qualified Physicians Assistants Are Suspended During Coronavirus Emergency
ISSUED 03/22/2020
In order to allow physician assistants practicing under the state Board of Osteopathic Medicine to more easily and effectively assist with emergency response efforts to COVID-19, Governor Wolf granted the Department of State’s request to suspend requirements pertaining to written agreements and several other items. READ MORE

Pennsylvania Suspends Certain Licensure Requirements for State Board of Psychology, and State Board of Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Professional Counselors
ISSUED 03/22/2020
In order to increase the number of health-care practitioners available to respond to the COVID-19 emergency, Governor Wolf has granted the Department of State’s request to suspend some licensing requirements related to psychology; social work, marriage and family therapy and professional counselors. READ MORE

Some Continuing-Education Restrictions Suspended for Licensed Professionals
ISSUED 03/22/2020
Governor Wolf granted the Department of State’s request to suspend restrictions on distance-learning for continuing-education requirements for certain licensed professionals. READ MORE

Pennsylvania Waives Some Nurse Licensing Requirements to Aid Coronavirus Response
ISSUED 03/21/2020
The Department of State has waived certain administrative requirements for nurses, including temporarily extending license expiration dates and waiving associated fees during the coronavirus emergency.
Read the Press Release 
Read the waiver document

In-Person Requirement Suspended for Court Reporters
ISSUED 03/21/2020
Governor Wolf granted the Department of State’s request to suspend the requirement for physical presence of notaries who are court reporters/stenographers participating in criminal, civil and administrative proceedings in this Commonwealth. READ MORE

Medical Doctors’ Two-Facility Institutional License Limit Suspended During Coronavirus Emergency
ISSUED 03/20/2020
The Governor has suspended the institutional-license requirement that limits qualified medical doctors to practicing at no more than two (2) affiliated facilities. READ MORE

Certain regulations suspended for Nurse-Midwives
ISSUED 03/20/2020
Governor Wolf granted the Department of State’s request to allow the suspension of certain regulations concerning Certified Nurse Midwives.  READ MORE

Issuance of Temporary Licenses to Health Care Practitioners Not Licensed In Pennsylvania to be Expedited During Coronavirus Emergency
ISSUED 03/18/2020
Governor Wolf granted the Department of State’s request for a suspension to allow expedited temporary licensure to practitioners in other states to provide services to Pennsylvanians, for the duration of the coronavirus emergency. READ MORE
ACTION REQUIRED: Application for a Temporary License for Physicians Not Licensed in Pennsylvania (PDF)

Licensed Health Care Practitioners Can Provide Telemedicine Services to Pennsylvanians During Coronavirus Emergency
ISSUED 03/18/2020
Health care professionals licensed under any of the Department of State’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) licensing boards can provide services to patients via telemedicine during the coronavirus emergency.
Read the Press Release 
Read the waiver document

ISSUED 03/17/2020
Due to the Disaster Declaration issued by the Governor regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the requirements related to physical presence for Board meetings have been temporarily waived by the Governor. All Board meetings remaining on the schedule will be conducted via teleconference with call information provided for the public to attend. For more information, please see the meeting notice for more information.