Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf yesterday entered an executive order purporting to “provide civil immunity for healthcare providers” during the COVID-19 declared state of emergency. The extent of the order’s true, legal scope of immunity protections for physicians and medical practices is being debated. While the order may be one encouraging step in the right direction, stakeholders in the Pennsylvania medical community are expressing disappointment in it stopping short of more meaningful protection. For example, the order appears to offer some immunity for individual providers who are treating COVID-19 patients in certain facility/site settings, but it does not appear to apply to private practice/outpatient settings or to any “non-COVID-19 medical and health treatment or services to individuals.” Curi will be tracking this issue with our partners in Pennsylvania, and we will report any additional details we are able to learn. Click here to view the order (see pp. 9-10).
All Curi recommendations are based on current CDC criteria at the time of publication. CDC guidance for SARS-CoV-2 infection may, or may not, be adopted by state and local health departments to respond to rapidly changing local circumstances. Providers should always check with their local health department to see if the CDC’s guidance on any given topic has been modified (particularly if more restrictive) from the CDC’s recommended guidelines. Follow this link https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/index.html for contact information to your state/local health department. If local recommendations vary from those of the CDC, and you are unsure what recommendations to follow, then it is safer to follow the more restrictive guidelines/recommendations.