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BPOA Continuing Operations FAQ


  1. What is the Administration doing to get Pennsylvanian's back to work? 
    1. On May 1, Governor Wolf announced plans for the safe, controlled reopening of the Commonwealth.  More information on the Plan for Pennsylvania can be found here.  Another more detailed resource for the plan to Reopen Pennsylvania can be found here.  

  2. Is the Department still processing licensing applications and renewals?
    1. Yes.  On March 16, Governor Wolf issued an emergency directive through the Office of Administration temporarily closing all Commonwealth offices and directing all eligible Commonwealth employees work from home.   This directive was part of an aggressive mitigation effort to limit exposure to COVID-19 coronavirus for health and public safety.  While Commonwealth offices are temporarily closed, licensees and applicants should continue to refer to application checklists and submit requested materials via the PALS online portal. Please note during this time that mail delivery is limited and phone support has been temporarily suspended.  Please continue to send your supporting documentation and licensing questions, via email, to the contact link listed on the DOS professional licensing page.  If you are having difficulty accessing your account, the PALS website, or any other technical issue, please email us at this address PALS Support.
    2. Renewal deadlines for many license types have been extended. Please refer to this resource page for more information, and refer to your respective licensing page as it continues to be updated. 

  3. Is my business essential under the Governor's issued guidance?
    1. Governor Wolf initially urged non-essential businesses to temporarily cease operations in five counties on March 14 in order to limit the spread of Covid-19.  That recommendation has since expanded to all non-essential businesses operating in the Commonwealth.  On March 19, 2020, Governor Wolf ordered all "non-essential" businesses to close by 8:00 P.M.  Businesses failing to comply with this order were subject to fines and penalties beginning Saturday, March 21, 2020.  Beginning April 20, all employers must require that visitors wear protective face coverings when entering their place of business. 
    2. Examples of non-essential business include entertainment, hospitality and recreation facilities, concert venues, theatres, sporting event venues, golf courses and retail facilities (including shopping malls and health care facilities within retail operations.)  The complete list of Essential vs. Non-Essential Businesses can be found at the Covid-19 Business Resources page here.  The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development offers working capital loans that could be of assistance to businesses impacted by COVID-19. The U.S. Small Business Administration, in addition to local funding partners, may also be a source of assistance for affected businesses. For information about unemployment compensation or worker's compensation, please click here.  On April 21, the Department of Labor and Industry updated their site to reflect that Pennsylvania is accepting applications for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits.  Information about filing for PUA, frequently asked questions, and additional federal benefits may be found here:

  4. What if I decide to remain open for business?
    1. The Administration is aware of the financial impact and understands the tremendous sacrifice being asked of all business owners.   Businesses deemed "essential" should still employ the preventative steps outlined by state and federal health officials (highlighted here.)  However, new cases of coronavirus continue to be reported every day, and additional steps have been necessary to stop the spread. On March 19, 2020, Governor Wolf ordered all "non-essential" businesses to close by 8:00 P.M.  Businesses failing to comply with this order will be subject to fines and penalties beginning Saturday, March 21, 2020.

  5. Is my school/education program going remain open for business?
    1. On March 16th, in efforts to expand aggressive social distancing in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all public K-12 schools, career and technical centers (CTCs) and intermediate units (IUs), child-care centers operating within those schools and all universities within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) suspended in-person instruction through March 29th.  That order was subsequently amended to reflect that  ALL schools (including private, parochial, and institutions of higher education) remain closed through the remaining 2020 academic year.  Education providers electing to provide online courses should follow all applicable DOH, CDC and OSHA guidelines.  Refer to your respective board page for specific guidance.

  6. How have concerns about spread of Covid-19 affected testing and background checks?
    1. As of March 17,2020, testing at Pearson Vue testing centers remain closed through May 8th due to public health and safety concerns.  This has impacted the following occupational exams:  Auctioneer, Barber Examiners, Cosmetology, Engineer, Funeral, Osteopathic Medicine and Psychology.  For more information regarding test delivery information affected by COVID-19, please visit the Pearson Vue help page here. 
    2. The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) announced that Prometric test centers in the United States and Canada suspended testing beginning March 17, 2020.  More information can be found at NASBA's page here. 
    3. PSI has temporarily closed their owned and operated physical test centers in the United States starting March 19, which affects testing for the PA Real Estate Commission and expanded function dental assistants. For further information please visit their COVID19 page here .
    4. DOS Reg Waiver Request 44 - Dental Clinical Examination Waiver.DRAFTMany facilities for processing fingerprints for background checks are closed. To search for an open IdentoGO site, please enter your zip code here

  7. Where can I find profession specific information about the COVID-19 response?
    1. Please check your board specific page here for profession and association information related to your profession.
    2. For a current list of healthcare professional regulation waivers, please go to this page.
    3. The Drug Enforcement Administration COVID-19 Information Page is being updated several times a day. It contains a significant amount of guidance and Q&A's concerning COVID-19. This link can be used to register your email address to receive updates on DEA's guidance and DEA's response. 
    4. On April 8, 2020, Governor Wolf Signed an order to provide targeted distribution of COVID19 PPE and supplies to hospitals. The order required private, public and quasi-public health care providers and facilities submit current inventory quantities of PPE, pharmaceuticals and other medical resources to PEMA by April 16, 2020. The FAQ regarding this topic can be found here:
    5. For a complete guide relating to Pennsylvania's COVID-19 response, including plans for the phased reopening of Commonwealth to businesses, please go to this page: