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.
COVID-19 Vaccine Related Waivers
Pennsylvania Extends License Renewal Deadline for State Board of Medicine
Due to licensees having difficulty meeting the
March 31 deadline, the Department requested, and Governor Wolf granted, an additional 30 days to renew for
all licensees under the Board of Medicine with a license that was set to expire on December 31, 2020, and who have not yet renewed. Any licensee who has not yet renewed must do so on or before April 30, 2021.
Renewal fees were waived by the Board of Medicine due to a funding surplus, but all licensees are required to complete their renewal to retain their license. This will be the final extension for these licensees under the State Board of Medicine.
Pennsylvania Expands List of Health Care Professionals That May Administer COVID-19 Vaccines
Various measures have been taken to boost the number of health care professionals available to administer COVID-19 vaccines. This includes a Declaration made by the former U.S. Acting Secretary of HHS on March 10, 2020, under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act for Medical Countermeasures Against COVID-19 (PREP Act). That Declaration has since been amended several times...
Pennsylvania Pharmacists May Delegate Authority to Administer COVID-19 Vaccinations to Select Health Care Professionals in Pharmacies and Pharmacy-Run Vaccination Efforts
ISSUED 02/19/2021 --REVISED 03/22/2021
To allow pharmacists who hold an active Authorization to Administer Injectables limited delegation authority, the Department requested, and the Governor approved, a temporary suspension of the prohibition against delegation. This waiver will allow pharmacists to delegate the authority to administer COVID-19 vaccines to other licensed health care practitioners whose scope of practice includes the administration of injectable vaccines, namely, LPNs, RNs, physicians, and physician assistants,
or who have otherwise been authorized or made eligible to administer COVID-19 vaccinations by way of state or federal government action, including the March 10, 2020 Declaration and subsequent amendments issued by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the PREP Act.
Out-of-State Health Care Providers May Administer COVID-19 Vaccine in Pennsylvania
To expand the number of available health care professionals who can administer the COVID-19 vaccine in Pennsylvania, the Department of State requested, and the Governor approved, a temporary suspension of certain licensure requirements to enable healthcare practitioners from other states to administer COVID-19 vaccines without licensure in the Commonwealth. Health care professionals from out of state may administer COVID-19 vaccines in Pennsylvania provided that they hold a license in good standing in their home jurisdiction and they meet the specific qualification requirements of Section V(f) of the Amendment of the PREP Act as described below.
New Waiver Allows Licensed Volunteers to Administer the COVID-19 Vaccine
The Department requested and received a waiver that allows licensed volunteers under the State Board of Medicine, the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine and the State Board of Nursing to administer vaccinations in settings that fall outside the definition of "approved clinic," including community-based, primary-care clinics and clinics in medically underserved areas, as well as state and federally qualified health centers.
Waiver Allows Some Retired Physicians
and Nurses and Other Health Care Professionals to Administer the COVID-19 Vaccine
ISSUED 02/05/2021 --
The Department of State requested, and the Governor approved, a temporary suspension of certain renewal and reactivation requirements to enable physicians and nurses whose Pennsylvania licenses lapsed, expired or were inactive within the last five years to administer COVID-19 vaccines without reactivating or renewing their licenses, provided they meet the specific qualification requirements. Similar temporary suspensions have also been approved for certified nurse midwives, dentists, optometrists, physician assistants, podiatrists, respiratory therapists and veterinarians. Read more
Waiver Enables Medical Students to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines; Interim Limited License Requirement for GMTs Temporarily Suspended to Boost Vaccination Effort
ISSUED 02/05/2021 -- Revised 04/13/2021
As new COVID-19 cases soar across the Commonwealth and hospitals are stretched to capacity, Pennsylvania has initiated an unprecedented effort to administer COVID-19 vaccinations at record speed. Medical students quickly offered to step in to administer these vaccinations at locations across the Commonwealth.
New Waiver Allows Qualified Pennsylvania Vaccinators to Administer COVID-19 Vaccine to 16- and 17-Year-Olds
The overall purpose of this waiver/suspension is to expand the pool of COVID-19 vaccinators to help increase access to COVID-19 vaccinations. This waiver will help to align Pennsylvania's response efforts with guidance and waivers issued by the federal government, as well as temporarily alter certain state regulations to make it possible for that alignment to occur.The Department requested, and Gov Wolf approved, a temporary change in the age restriction set forth in 63 P.S. § 390-9.2 and 49 Pa. Code § 27.403 to persons who are "more than 16 years of age."
New Waiver Expands the Significant Role of Pharmacists in COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout
In view of the fact that many Pennsylvanians will go to their local pharmacy for vaccination, and to eliminate any confusion or uncertainty regarding qualified pharmacists’ ability to enroll as providers and to order and administer the COVID-19 vaccine, the Department of State requested, and the Governor approved, a temporary suspension of the order/written protocol requirements set forth in 49 Pa. Code § 27.404.
Pennsylvania Expands Authority of Supervised Nursing Students to Administer Vaccines Outside Their Clinical Placements
To increase the number of qualified providers that may administer vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department requested, and the Governor approved, a suspension of Sections 21.112 and 21.222(d) of the Board’s regulations, 49 Pa. Code §§ 21.112 and 21.222(d), in connection with influenza and COVID-19 vaccines.
Pharmacy Interns’ Immunization Skills to be More Fully Utilized By Expanding Supervision Options
In its ongoing effort to increase the number of providers who can administer COVID-19 vaccinations, the Wolf Administration has cleared the way for registered pharmacy interns to help vaccinate potentially thousands of additional Pennsylvanians.
Pennsylvania Expands Authority of Supervised Pharmacy Interns to Administer Vaccines
To provide a greater number of people with convenient, limited-contact access to flu shots, the Governor approved the Department of State’s request to suspend the age restriction that limits intern-administered flu shots to those ages 9 and older. Instead, temporarily, pharmacy interns may administer any age-appropriate influenza vaccination to children 3 years of age and older.
To increase convenient access to COVID-19 vaccines as they become available, this waiver also authorizes pharmacy interns to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to persons who are at least 18 years of age, but only under the direct, immediate and personal supervision of a licensed pharmacist who holds an active authorization to administer injectable medications.
Pennsylvania Temporarily Waives Practical Examination Requirement for Out-of-State Osteopathic Physicians
The Department requested, and the Governor approved, a temporary suspension of the practical examination requirement. By allowing out-of-state osteopathic physicians who have been practicing for many years to obtain licensure in this Commonwealth without first obtaining a passing score on a practical examination, the Commonwealth will be further opening its clinic doors to qualified physicians who are willing and able to assist in addressing the ongoing pandemic.
State Board of Dentistry Identifies Acceptable Alternative to Live Patient Clinical Exam for Dental Hygienist Candidates During COVID-19
The live-patient aspect of the dental hygiene clinical examination shall continue to be temporarily waived. For those candidates who wish to take an alternative exam, the board will now accept the ADEX Manikin Examination for dental hygienists administered by CDCA and CITA in 2021 in lieu of issuing a provisional license to candidates for licensure...
Pennsylvania Extends Waiver Temporarily Allowing Licensees to Meet Continuing Education Requirements Entirely Through Online Learning or Distance Education
With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, securing in-person CE courses is once again becoming difficult. To afford licensees the ability to acquire the continuing education hours they need in order to renew their licenses, and to otherwise offer relief for those experiencing the disruptive effects of the pandemic, the Department sought an extension, which the Governor approved, of the previous waivers ...
Pennsylvania Extends State Board of Medicine Renewal Deadline, Continues License Reactivations for Retired Professionals and Extends Expiration Date of Temporary Licenses Issued to Out-of-State Healthcare Practitioners
Chiropractors, Dentists, Optometrists, Pharmacists and Podiatrists Who Hold Clinical Lab Permits to Order and Administer COVID-19 Tests
With the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, access to testing is imperative. Testing plays a key role in the Commonwealth's ongoing efforts to contain and mitigate the pandemic by identifying COVID- positive individuals to help prevent further transmission of the virus. It is also important for licensed healthcare practitioners to have the ability to test their patients prior to performing elective and non-elective procedures, should they so choose. The Department of State requested, and the Governor approved, that the following Pennsylvania-licensed practitioners be authorized to order and administer COVID-19 tests for the duration of the emergency declaration and an additional 90 days IF they have been issued a clinical lab permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Health to conduct diagnostic lab testing...
Pennsylvania Further Extends Temporary Waiver of Certain CPR Rules for Pharmacists
With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, securing in-person CPR recertification training classes is once again becoming difficult. Some licensees' CPR certificates will expire before they are able to get into a class by December 31, 2020. For those reasons, the Department requested, and the Governor approved, an extension of the previous temporary suspension of the CPR requirements for an additional 90 days, until March 31, 2021.
Pennsylvania Further Extends Temporary Waiver of Certain CPR Rules for State Board of Massage Therapy and State Board of Dentistry
The Governor approved the Department’s request that the previous waivers related to CPR training for massage therapists, and CPR and BLS training for dentists, dental hygienists and expanded function dental assistants be further extended.
See: Department of State Temporarily Waives CPR Rules for Two Additional Professional Licensing Boards (April 7, 2020)
Pennsylvania Extends Waiver Suspending “Live Patient” Requirements for Dental Clinical Licensing Exam
The department requested that the waiver for graduating dental school students be extended to cover all candidates for licensure as a dentist for the 2021 administration of the exam and any other individuals who must sit for the dental licensing exam during the COVID-19 pandemic, including those seeking reinstatement or reactivation. Gov. Wolf approved this request. This waiver shall extend for the duration of the Governor’s Emergency Disaster Declaration, plus an additional 90 days thereafter.
See: Pennsylvania Gives Dentists and Dental Hygienists Alternatives to Live-Patient Clinical Licensing Exam During COVID-19 Emergency (April 24, 2020)
Pennsylvania Extends Temporary Practice Permits Issued to RNs and PNs Applying for PA Licensure By Endorsement
The Department of State previously received approval from the Governor to extend the duration of certain temporary practice permits (TPPs) issued by the State Board of Nursing. For candidates whose pathway to Pennsylvania licensure requires them to take the licensure exam – including some registered and practical nurses licensed in other states, as well as graduates of nursing education programs – TPPs allow them to work while waiting to take the exam.
See: Pennsylvania Waives Some Nurse Licensing Requirements During Coronavirus Emergency (March 20, 2020) and
Pennsylvania Further Extends Certain Temporary Permits and Licenses (June 16, 2020).
Cosmetology and Barber Licensure Through Career and Technical Education (CTE) PILOT PROGRAM
As a result of the Governor's declaration of a state of emergency related to COVID-19 in March 2020, schools across the Commonwealth (including CTCs) were closed. The Governor approved requests from the State Board of Cosmetology and the State Board of Barber Examiners to allow cosmetology and barber students, respectively, to obtain up to 50% (625 hours) of the required 1,250 instruction hours through distance learning. The increases apply all cosmetology and barber programs (CTC and non-CTC) throughout the Commonwealth, enabling students in both public and privately-run schools to more easily continue their education during the pandemic.
GUIDANCE FOR BARBER SHOPS PERMITTED TO OPERATE DURING MITIGATION MEASURES TO ENSURE THE SAFETY AND HEALTH OF EMPLOYEES AND THE PUBLIC
ISSUED 06/14/2020; LAST UPDATED 10/15/2020
This guidance document addresses the procedures businesses in the barbering industry must follow to limit the spread of COVID-19 to the extent they are permitted to conduct in-person operations.
GUIDANCE FOR COSMETOLOGY SALONS PERMITTED TO OPERATE DURING MITIGATION MEASURES TO ENSURE THE SAFETY AND HEALTH OF EMPLOYEES AND THE PUBLIC
ISSUED 06/14/2020; LAST UPDATED 10/15/2020
This guidance document addresses the procedures businesses in the cosmetology industry must follow to limit the spread of COVID-19 to the extent they are permitted to conduct in-person operations.
Pennsylvania Extends Renewal Deadlines for Licensed Practical Nurses
On March 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 for licensees under the State Board of Nursing. This moved their deadline from June 28, 2020, to September 28, 2020.
Due to licensees having difficulty meeting the September 28 deadline, the Department requested an additional 30 days for Practical Nurse renewals. This will be the final extension for this cohort. All renewals are due for this group of licensees on October 31, 2020.
Pennsylvania Expands Allowable Distance Education for Cosmetology Students
The Department of State requested, and the Governor granted, that the allowable distance education increase from 20% to 50% across all license categories. The Board's guidance sets forth the theory-based subjects in which a student may earn education hours through distance learning. The current theory-based subjects and additions are outlined in the following pages. These lists were developed through calls hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of Education in coordination with Department of State, which included feedback from cosmetology schools, associations, teachers and Board members.
Buprenorphine Treatment Via Telemedicine Expands Access to Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder
The Department of State requested and received approval from the Governor’s Office to suspend the initial medical history and physical examination requirement at 49 Pa. Code §16.92(b)(1) for the duration of the COVID-19 disaster declaration.
Certain Licensees Can Earn Continuing Education Credits for Serving as Poll Workers in November Election
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most, if not all, county boards of elections have expressed significant concerns over a shortage of poll workers on election day. Additionally, many of our licensed professionals are having difficulty finding continuing education opportunities, due to the cancellation of conference and in-person education opportunities during the pandemic.
In an effort to address both of these problems, the Department of State asked the Governor’s Office for a waiver of certain requirements relating to continuing education for the following licensing boards: Nursing Home Administrators; Physical Therapists; Social Workers, Marriage & Family Therapists, Professional Counselors; Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists.
Pennsylvania Extends Renewal Deadlines for Certain Nursing Licenses
On March 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 for licensees under the State Board of Nursing. This moved the renewal deadline from April 30, 2020, to July 29, 2020. Due to licensees having difficulty meeting the July 29, 2020, deadline the Department requested an additional 30 days of renewal time for some license types.
Pennsylvania Waives Certain Requirements for Cosmetology Students and Cosmetology Schools During COVID-19 Emergency
Many cosmetology students were unable to complete in-person hours during the closure. This unfortunate circumstance has, in turn, delayed these individuals from taking the required licensure examination. That delay prevented them from entering the workforce in their chosen occupation.
Pennsylvania Temporarily Expands Distance Education Hours Permitted for Barbers
The Department, with the support of the Board, proposed that the following additional measures be implemented to temporarily allow up to 50% of barber, barber teacher, and barber cross-over training (theory course work) to be delivered through distance education for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency plus an additional 90 days after the emergency ends. The Governor approved this request.
Pennsylvania Extends Deadline for Charitable Organization Registrations During COVID-19 Emergency
Due to the COVID-19 emergency, the Department of State has requested – and the Governor has granted – that the following charitable organization registration renewal deadlines which fall between July 15, 2020, and September 15, 2020, be 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.
Pennsylvania Expands the Age Range of Persons to Whom Pharmacists May Administer Influenza Vaccinations
To help mitigate patient crowding in health care centers in the event there is a second coronavirus wave during the upcoming flu season, and to enable a greater number of people to receive the flu immunization, the Governor approved the Department of State’s request to suspend the age limitation. Pharmacists who are already authorized to administer the flu vaccine may now administer any licensed, age-appropriate influenza vaccine to individuals 3 years of age or older.
Pennsylvania Suspends Limitation on the Number of Online Continuing Education Hours for Landscape Architects
The Department requested, and the Governor approved, a suspension of the “no more than one-half” limitation for the current biennial renewal period (which ends May 31, 2021). Suspending this restriction means that licensees may obtain up to 100% of their continuing education hours online or via distance learning, as well as through satellite seminars, electronic presentations and correspondence courses.
Pennsylvania Further Extends Certain Temporary Permits and Licenses for Barbers, Cosmetologists, Crane Operators, Nurses and Perfusionists
The Department of State has previously requested and received approval from the Governor to extend various temporary practice permits, temporary graduate/student licenses and certain third-party certification requirements. Several of these waivers require further extension as a result of licensure examination facilities’ inability to operate at full capacity as states re-open and social distancing measures remain in place. There is also a substantial backlog of applicants who need to reschedule exams that were cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Pennsylvania Extends License Renewal Deadline for the State Board of Barber Examiners
The Department requested, and the Governor has approved, a further extension of the biennial license renewal deadline for the State Board of Barber Examiners by an additional 90 days, from July 29, 2020, to October 27, 2020.
Pennsylvania Extends License Renewal Deadlines for Chiropractors, Dietitian-Nutritionists and Pharmacists
Given that the COVID-19 emergency is ongoing, the Department believes it is prudent to extend additional biennial renewal deadlines. The Department of State requested − and the Governor has approved − that the license renewal deadlines falling between September 1, 2020, through and including October 1, 2020, be extended for ninety (90) days, and that any associated regulations establishing these dates be temporarily suspended.
Pennsylvania to Count Telemedicine Services Provided During COVID-19 Emergency Towards Clinical Experience Requirement for Pre-Licensure Behavior Specialists
The Department requested that the “in-person” requirement be waived, and the Governor granted this request. Under this waiver, hours of clinical experience obtained by individuals working toward licensure as a behavior specialist via telemedicine or teletherapy during the duration of the COVID-19 emergency which began on March 6, 2020, and which was extended for an additional 90 days on June 4, 2020, be recognized as valid and counted towards the 1,000 hours of clinical experience. This waiver ceases 30 days after the end of the COVID-19 emergency, and any hours of clinical experience thereafter would need to be “in-person.”
Licensed Health Care Practitioners Can Provide Telemedicine Services to Pennsylvanians During Coronavirus Emergency (3/18/2020)
See also: Pennsylvania Suspends Certain Licensure Requirements for State Board of Psychology, and State Board of Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Professional Counselors (3/22/2020)
See also: Certain Requirements Temporarily Waived for Those Seeking Licensure as Psychologists, Social Workers, Therapists and Counselors (3/26/2020)
Pennsylvania Automatically Extends Certain Temporary Licenses for Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants
the Governor authorized the Department’s request to automatically extended certain temporary OT and OTA licenses. This extension applies to all temporary licenses that were valid and active as of March 6, when the COVID-19 disaster emergency was declared, and any temporary OT and OTA licenses issued during the COVID-19 emergency. Such temporary licenses shall expire no earlier than 90 days following the end of the COVID-19 emergency.
Pennsylvania Waives Certain Requirements for Acceptable ID for Notary Services During COVID-19 Emergency
For PennDOT IDs that expire between March 16 and June 30, 2020, the Department of State requested, and the Governor granted, a waiver of the requirement that a driver’s license or nondriver identification card be current and unexpired in order to constitute satisfactory evidence of identity. This waiver is limited to PennDOT-issued documents which expired from March 16, 2020 through June 30, 2020 (or any further period as determined by subsequent extension by PennDOT). Because PennDOT has extended the expiration date of these identity products, Pennsylvania may rely on them for identification of customers under RULONA.
Pennsylvania Temporarily Allows Limited Distance Education Hours for Massage Therapy Students During COVID-19
The Department of State requested, and Governor Wolf approved, a temporary suspension of the requirement that the 600 hours of instruction be entirely “in-class” contact hours.
Pennsylvania Extends Cosmetology Apprentice Permits, Temporarily Suspends Weekly Minimum Training Hour Requirement
Because cosmetology salons have not been deemed “life-sustaining” businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, apprentice permit holders are currently unable to work towards obtaining their required 2,000 training hours. To address this situation, the Department of State requested, and the Governor approved, a temporary suspension of the 25/hours-per-week minimum requirement.
State Board of Medicine Suspends Regulation Requiring Physicians to Provide Paper Prescription Within 72 Hours of Issuing Emergency Prescription by Telephone During COVID-19 Pandemic
The Department of State (DOS) has received approval to temporarily suspend a State Board of Medicine regulation related to emergency oral (verbally conveyed) prescriptions. The temporary suspension was requested following guidance provided last month by the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and a related waiver subsequently issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH).
Pennsylvania Extends Appointment Deadlines for Notaries
The Department of State requested, and the Governor approved, an extension of the 45-day deadline for appointed notaries to get sworn in and record the bond/oath/commission with the Recorder of Deeds and to register the notary signature with the Prothonotary, up to an additional 30 days. This extension will apply to all notaries whose 45 days expired or will expire on or after March 1 until the end of the disaster declaration. Because notaries have varied expiration dates, the 30 days will calculate for each notary differently. For counties that the Recorder or Deeds or Prothonotary is still closed, the 30 days will also take into account and be based on the date the associated Recorder and Prothonotary offices reopen.
Pennsylvania to Allow Students About to Graduate from Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant Programs During COVID19 Emergency to Take Licensure Examination Prior to Graduation
Therefore, the Department sought, and the Governor approved, a waiver consistent with the direction the Board is already moving with its revised regulation, namely, that the graduation-before-licensure-examination requirement is temporarily suspended for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. The waiver allows PT and PTA students who have completed their didactic education but have not yet completed their clinical education to take their national licensure examinations up to 180 days prior to graduation.
Pennsylvania Waiver Allows In-Person Real Estate Classes to Be Livestreamed During COVID-19 Emergency
The Department of State requested, and Governor Wolf approved, a temporary waiver to the commission’s definition of “distance education” so that only instruction where there is a separation of both distance AND time between instructor and student will be considered distance education. Courses that are livestreamed are separated by distance but not time, and therefore are not “distance education.”
Pennsylvania Extends Application Expiration Dates for Real Estate Appraisers
To assist appraiser applicants whose one-year application approval is in danger of expiring due to the closure of testing sites, the Governor approved the Department of State’s request for a waiver of the one-year limitation.
Pennsylvania Gives Dentists and Dental Hygienists Alternatives to Live-Patient Clinical Licensing Exam During COVID-19 Emergency
The Pennsylvania Department of State requested, and Governor Wolf approved, several waivers/suspensions related to the clinical licensure examinations for both dentists and dental hygienists who have just graduated or are about to graduate.
Pennsylvania Gives Licensed Crane Operators More Time to Recertify Due to COVID-19 Emergency
The Pennsylvania Department of State requested, and Governor Wolf granted, a waiver of the requirement that crane operators whose certification has expired, or will expire, during the COVID-19 emergency, submit to the board proof of recertification. The waiver is applicable for the duration of the Emergency Declaration, and for 30 days after it is lifted. This waiver gives licensed crane operators time to be recertified and submit proof of their recertification to the board.
Pennsylvania Gives Some Businesses More Time to File Corrected Paperwork During Coronavirus Emergency
While BCCO continues to receive resubmitted paperwork during the COVID-19 emergency, processing delays and limited staff availability have led to processing times that approach 30 days. Because these delays are no fault of the filer, the Department of State requested, and Governor Wolf granted, a waiver of the applicable 30-day resubmission rule and an extension to 60 days. This waiver will give filers additional time to correct rejected filings without penalizing them for processing delays. The waiver applies only to association filings. It will not apply to Uniform Commercial Code filings, which may not be corrected and resubmitted.
Pennsylvania Extends Expiration Dates of Temporary Permits for Additional Licensees During COVID-19 Emergency
The Department requested – and the Governor granted – additional provisions be waived and/or temporarily suspended to preserve the integrity and extend the duration of the identified temporary licenses and permits. All temporary licenses and permits
identified herein are automatically extended and shall expire no earlier than 90 days following the end of the COVID-19 emergency.
Pennsylvania Waives Certain Licensing Requirements for Military Medical Personnel − Including Members of the National Guard − During Coronavirus Emergency
ISSUED 04/17/2020 -- REVISED 02/05/2021
The U.S. Army has mobilized Reserve medical specialists to reinforce civilian hospitals in areas of the country that are experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases, called “Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces,” including Pennsylvania. For those health care professionals in the task force who did not immediately qualify for state licensure, the Department of State requested, and Governor Wolf granted, a waiver to practice in Pennsylvania as long as they are employed by the Armed Forces of the United States, the U.S. Public Health Service, the Department of Veterans Affairs or the federal government. Read more
Pennsylvania Waives Certain Administrative Requirements for Graduate Medical Trainees During COVID-19 Emergency
In the ongoing effort to build and strengthen the healthcare workforce during the COVID-19 emergency, the Department of State requested a waiver related to Graduate Medical Trainees (GMTs), which was approved by the Governor. This waiver temporarily suspends the requirement that the applicant provide a detailed written statement of the medical services to be provided beyond the parameters of the GMT program and receive a board evaluation regarding training and education. Read more
Pennsylvania Expands Clinical Clerk Services During COVID-19 Emergency
The Department requested and received a waiver from the Governor of the statute that limits services provided by clinical clerks to patients in hospital settings. For the duration of this emergency, clinical clerks are not limited to providing services to patients in hospitals. Read more
Pennsylvania Issues Additional Pharmacy-Related Waivers During COVID-19 Emergency
To aid in the COVID-19 emergency response effort the Department of State requested and the Governor approved a number of additional pharmacy-related waivers. Read more
Pennsylvania Expands Access to Pharmacy Services ISSUED: 03/22/20
Pennsylvania Changes Supervision Requirements for Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists During COVID-19 Emergency
To aid in the COVID-19 emergency response effort and augment the healthcare workforce, it has become necessary to suspend certain rules and regulations regarding licensing, certification and credentialing of health care practitioners. This includes professionals in the fields of occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy, often collectively referred to as “rehabilitation therapy.” Read more
Pennsylvania Extends Temporary Licenses for Graduate Perfusionists During Coronavirus Emergency
Perfusionists have a critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the current demand for perfusionists and cancellation of the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion's spring certification exam, the Department of State requested, and Governor Wolf granted, a six-month extension of all Temporary Graduate Perfusionist Licenses. Read more
Pennsylvania Waives Certain Requirements for Graduate Medical Trainees During COVID-19 Emergency
The Department of State and State Board of Medicine have requested, and the Governor has granted, a temporary waiver allowing a facility’s resident program director to determine which GMTs have gained the skills and fulfilled the requirements necessary to advance in their postgraduate year (PGY) training in the absence of the USMLE. Read more
Department of State Temporarily Waives CPR Rules for Two Additional Professional Licensing Boards
The Department requested a waiver or temporary suspension of the State Board of Dentistry’s regulations and statutory provisions related to CPR and BSL certification, and the State Board of Massage Therapy’s regulations and statutory provisions related to CPR certification. Read more
Pennsylvania Extends License Renewal Deadlines for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists
The Department requested and the Governor has approved that the license renewal deadlines falling through July 31, 2020 be extended for ninety (90) days. The licensee types whose licenses are set to expire during that time frame are set forth below. The Department also requested that any associated regulations that establish these dates be temporarily suspended. Read more
Temporary Waiver of License Reactivation Requirements for Additional Health Care Practitioners During Coronavirus Emergency
The department has since identified additional health care practitioner types for whom temporary waivers of certain regulations would allow them to more easily reactivate their retired or expired licenses and provide assistance during the pandemic. These additional boards and practitioners/licensees include occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and licensed dietitian-nutritionists (LDNs).
See Also: Reactivation for additional retirees: Temporary waivers cover more professions ISSUED: 03/30/2020
See Also: Pennsylvania to Allow Retired Health Care Professionals to Bolster COVID-19 Response ISSUED 03/25/2020
Pennsylvania Changes Certain Requirements for Barbers, Cosmetologists, Accountants and Nursing Home Administrators During COVID-19 Emergency
Applicants and licensees should not be penalized or have their applications and licenses jeopardized when, through no fault of their own, time periods continue to run (or expire) due to the COVID-19 emergency. The Department of State requested a waiver, extension and/or temporary suspension of certain requirements for barbers, cosmetologists, accountants and nursing home administrators during COVID-19 Emergency. Read more
Temporary Waiver of Notarization Requirement for Campaign Finance Reports and Statements
The Pennsylvania Department of State requested, and Governor Wolf granted, a temporary waiver of the notarization requirement in the Campaign Finance Reporting Law for campaign finance reports and campaign finance statements filed by political committees and candidates for public office. The waiver includes adopting the use of the unsworn falsification standard and allowing the required documents to be filed online and electronically using the unsworn falsification standard until the COVID-19 health emergency subsides. Read more
Department of State Extends Deadline for Filing Lobbying Disclosure Quarterly Reports
Governor Tom Wolf granted the Department of State’s request to waive the lobbying disclosure first quarter 2020 reporting date, with the first and second quarter reports now due on the same date of July 30, 2020, although the reports should be filed separately. Read more
Pennsylvania Allows Remote Notarization of Some Documents During Coronavirus Emergency
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
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
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
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
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
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: Temporary Waiver of License Reactivation Requirements for Additional Health Care Practitioners During Coronavirus Emergency ISSUED 04/07/2020
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
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
While the department will provide guidance encouraging licensees to renew on time, if possible, this waiver ensures that if they miss the dead line 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
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.
Certain Requirements Temporarily Waived for Those Seeking Licensure as Psychologists, Social Workers, Therapists and Counselors
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
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
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
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: Temporary Waiver of License Reactivation Requirements for Additional Health Care Practitioners During Coronavirus Emergency ISSUED 04/07/2020
see also: Reactivation for additional retirees: Temporary waivers cover more professions ISSUED: 03/30/2020
Pennsylvania Expands Access to Pharmacy Services
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 -- REVISED 03/05/2021
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.
Pennsylvania Suspends Certain Licensure Requirements for State Board of Psychology, and State Board of Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Professional Counselors
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.
Some Continuing-Education Restrictions Suspended for Licensed Professionals
Governor Wolf granted the Department of State’s request to suspend restrictions on distance-learning for continuing-education requirements for certain licensed professionals.
Pennsylvania Waives Some Nurse Licensing Requirements to Aid Coronavirus Response
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
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.
Medical Doctors’ Two-Facility Institutional License Limit Suspended During Coronavirus Emergency
The Governor has suspended the institutional-license requirement that limits qualified medical doctors to practicing at no more than two (2) affiliated facilities.
Certain regulations suspended for Nurse-Midwives
Governor Wolf granted the Department of State’s request to allow the suspension of certain regulations concerning Certified Nurse Midwives.
Issuance of Temporary Licenses to Health Care Practitioners Not Licensed In Pennsylvania to be Expedited During Coronavirus Emergency
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.
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
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
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.