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COVID-19 Resources for Pharmacy Professionals
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COVID-19 Updates and Resources


Join Us for the Next WSPA Virtual Town Hall

The COVID-19 Pandemic is impacting the world and Washington State pharmacists and technicians are in the epicenter. Your bravery and professionalism is unwavering and heroic! These virtual town hall events are a venue to share what you are experiencing, ask questions, hear updates, and tell WSPA what you need.


All are welcome and there is no cost to participate or download the podcast

WSPA Pharmacy COVID-19 News

Obviously, there is a flurry of information being shared. At WSPA, we want you to have the information your need to be informed on what you can do for your patients and protect yourself. The WSPA News Page contains information about WSPA's advocacy, and important announcement. Also check out our LinkedIn, Facebook Pages.

Childcare and Distance Learning Support Resources


WSPA Academy Resources

WSPA Ambulatory Care Academy Telehealth Discussion Recording from May 1st Call - The WSPA AmCA recorded their Telehealth Discussion lead by Chair Ashley Van Allen. The YouTube link can be found from the AmCA page.


WSPA Health System Academy COVID-19 Podcast - Infectious Disease Resident, Pharmacist and Investigational Drug Pharmacists from UW, Harborview and Valley Medical Center Discuss COVID-19 Therapies, and response to the pandemic during the most recent podcast with Incoming Chair Erica Diamantides.


Remdesivir Distribution

EUA Remdesivir Distribution

  Gilead donated 1.5 million doses of remdesivir worldwide following the FDA's EUA issued on May 1st.

   In Washington, distribution of the doses so far was determined by the Disaster Medical Advisory Council. 

COVID-19 Testing


Do Pharmacists Have Authority at State and Federal Levels?


HHS Issues Advisory Opinion 20-02 on the PREP Act

On May 19th, 2020 this advisory was issued discussing if the HHS Guidance (below) pre-empts state practice laws pertaining to the scope of practice of a pharmacist and their ability to provide and order COVID-19 tests. 


HHS Issues Guidance Authorizing Pharmacists to Order and Administer COVID-19 Tests 

On March 10, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services issued a declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act), providing guidance authorizing licensed pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests, including serology tests, including serology tests, that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized. By doing so, such pharmacists will qualify as “covered persons” under the PREP Act. And they may receive immunity under the PREP Act with respect to all claims for loss caused by, arising out of, relating to, or resulting from, the administration or use of FDA-authorized COVID-19 tests. Declaration 


COVID-19 Testing Information as it Relates to the Practice of Pharmacy in Washington State

Pharmacist Scope of Practice in WA State:

As part of its business meeting on April 24, 2020, the Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission (PQAC) clarified some of the following as it relates to Washington licensed pharmacists ordering, administering and reporting results of COVID-19 testing to patients:

  • Screening for patients receiving COVID-19 tests – A pharmacist or pharmacy intern, under the supervision of a pharmacist, may conduct this screening. It is not within the scope of practice for a Pharmacy Technician to perform discretionary functions. A Pharmacy Technician may only perform screening elements to the extent that could be described as non-discretionary function(s). If the screening includes any form of discretionary decision-making, these decisions must be reserved to the pharmacist or pharmacy intern. Pharmacy assistants cannot conduct screening.

  • Ordering COVID-19 tests – PQAC will not take enforcement action against pharmacists who order COVID-19 tests consistent with the “Guidance for Licensed Pharmacists, COVID-19 Testing, and Immunity under the PREP Act” issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on April 8, 2020. PQAC will be maintaining this position until it is withdrawn at an open public meeting or Governor Jay Inslee issues a proclamation terminating the state of emergency declared by Proclamation 20-05 as amended.

  • Administering COVID-19 tests – Pharmacists may administer COVID-19 tests. How to administer test:

  • Reporting COVID-19 test results- Pharmacists may not diagnose a patient with COVID-19, unless the diagnosis is permitted under the terms of a collaborative drug therapy agreement (CDTA). In the absence of a CDTA, if a pharmacist communicates the COVID-19 test results, the pharmacist shall only provide the results of the COVID-19 test and recommend the patient contact their primary health care provider.

Lab Certification and Requirements:

  • Pharmacists in WA need to obtain certification of waiver from the WA State Department of Health indicating they are conducting CLIA waived tests. Under the HHS guidance, only COVID-19 tests with FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for use in waived settings can be used under a certificate of waiver.

  • The Certification of Waiver Medical Test Sites Application link:

  • The rules for Medical Test Sites can be found in Chapter 246-338 WAC:

  • A “medical test site” is a laboratory that must meet the requirements for notifiable conditions to report in the Washington Disease Reporting System (WDRS). Chapter 246-101 WAC

  • Consider contracting with a health care provider who orders tests and reports via the Washington Disease Reporting System (WDRS) to comply with notifiable condition requirements.

  • Employers need to ensure that employees performing the COVID-19 test have sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) and comply with COVID-19 test manufacturer’s specific manual of instruction. PPE information here:

  • For questions regarding the application process, you may contact the Medical Test Site Program

Biomedical Waste Requirements:

  • Proper disposal of biomedical waste generated from the COVID-19 testing is critical and necessary due to the infections nature of the coronavirus.

More COVID-19 Information and Resources

Stay up-to-date on the current COVID-19 situation in Washington, Governor Inslee’s proclamations, symptoms, how it spreads, and how and when people should get tested. See our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

The risk of COVID-19 is not connected to race, ethnicity or nationality. Stigma will not help to fight the illness. Share accurate information with others to keep rumors and misinformation from spreading.

Have more questions about COVID-19? Call DOH hotline: 1-800-525-0127. For interpretative services, press # when they answer and say your language. (Open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.) For questions about your own health, COVID-19 testing, or testing results, please contact your health care provider.


Send  pharmacy related questions to Pharmacy Commission’s COVID 19 inbox:

See the Pharmacy Commission’s - Plan-19 for information on Commission guidance, frequently asked questions, and more regarding COVID-19.


Which Tests?


Under the HHS guidance, only FDA authorized COVID-19 tests are within scope, including serology tests that are authorized under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). As a result, for pharmacists to order and administer a serology test, or any other COVID-19 test, it would have to be those that have EUA, and does not encompass the enforcement discretion serology tests.


As of May 26th, 2020, these tests have received EAU and are considered CLIA Waived.


Sofia 2 SARS Antigen FIA

Accula SARS-Cov-2 Test

Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 Test


And the first EUA for a Home Sef Administered Test Kit:

Everlywell COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit 


FDA EUA Approved Tests Page Updated Daily

These FDA pages addresses available diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices to diagnosis and respond to COVID-19:

Do Washington Pharmacies Need a CLIA Waiver to Perform Testing? Yes!

Visit the WSPA's Page on CLIA Waivers and Coronavirus Page for information on obtaining a CLIA Waiver, Updating CLIA Waivers and Emergency Use Authorizations

Washington State COVID-19 Testing Information and Collection Instructions

Valuable Resources offering guidance for who should be tested, and how to collect nasal, mid-turbinate collection and NP techniques from Washington State Department of Health


Medicare Pharmacies and Other Suppliers May Temporarily Enroll as Independent Clinical Diagnostic Laboratories to Help Address COVID-19 Testing  


Practitioner Safety

CDC Updated Guidance to Pharmacies and Pharmacy Personnel

Here are the changes/additions to this guidance

  • Everyone entering the pharmacy should wear a face covering, regardless of symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians should always wear a facemask while they are in the pharmacy for source control.
  • Postpone and reschedule delivery of some routine clinical preventive services, such as adult immunizations, which require face to face encounters.
  • Special considerations for clinics that are co-located in pharmacies.
  • Added more information about cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and included a link to more information about how to clean/disinfect.

OHSA Alert on Pharmacy Worker Safety during the Coronavirus Pandemic


CDC Interim U.S. Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Healthcare Personnel with Potential Exposure in a Healthcare Setting to Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

USP Response to Shortage of Gown, Garb and Face Masks


WSPA Guidance to Pharmacy Practitioners for Safe Practice During COVID-19 Outbreak

Background: Pharmacies are essential to the health of Washington State residents, as timely and accurate medication delivery is foundational to the treatment of acute and chronic diseases. Therefore, it is essential that we maintain the health of pharmacy staff so that pharmacies can maintain their operations. Please review this information and consider adopting these strategies in your pharmacies.

As patients look to pharmacy staff for guidance, please use calming and reassuring language. Your help to prevent panic and communicate accurate information is essential for our communities. Watch the CDC, Department of Health and your County Public Health Page for accurate information, and resources.

Prevention: Pharmacies should implement strategies to prevent person to person transmission of infection. Frequent, effective handwashing, use of hand sanitizer and wiping frequently touched surfaces with an EPA approved biocide should be common practices. Staff should strive to maintain a distance greater than 3 feet from patients, and greater than 6 feet for patients actively coughing. Although this is not always possible, emphasis should be given when patients are coughing and sick. Communicate to patients the importance of sick patients staying home, sending a friend to the pharmacy instead, or using the drive through when possible. Currently, SARS-CoV-2 virus has a relatively low estimated transmission rate of 0.5% in the general public.

Exposure: If a patient sick with COVID19 visits a pharmacy and talked with pharmacy staff, the exposure risk as classified by the CDC is generally low risk. With low risk exposures the CDC recommends that health care providers self-monitor for illness. “Self-monitoring means Health Care Provider should monitor themselves for fever by taking their temperature twice a day and remain alert for respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, sore throat).” Fever is either measured temperature >100.0°F or subjective fever in healthy individuals. As mentioned above, individuals who develop symptoms should not go to work, call in sick and self-quarantine at home until they no longer have a fever and their symptoms improve. Unless at risk for severe illness, individuals do not need to be tested for COVID19 or seek care.

Early Prescription Fills: Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued Emergency Order No. 20-01 today directing insurance companies to allow for a one-time early refill of covered prescription medications. Carriers can limit early refills to certain medications such as opioids, benzodiazepines and stimulants.

Planning: Pharmacies should begin to develop emergency plans based on the potential for absenteeism due to illness in their staff. WSPA has already heard from many chains they are developing this guidance. This is an evolving situation which may eventually be worsened by drug shortages. The WSPA will continue to share information between state and local public health staff and our pharmacy community.

Washington State COVID-19 Help Line: 1-800-525-0127 and press #

DOH Novel Coronavirus Outbreak 2020 Healthcare Provider Resources and Recommendations

CDC Healthcare Personnel with Potential Exposure to COVID-19 

CDC Interim Guidance for Healthcare Facilities: Preparing for Community Transmission of COVID-19 in the United States

EPA Registered Antimicrobial Products for Use Against Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 

Regulation Waivers

Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission "living document" with updates to changes made to rules during the pandemic

Emergency Rules Adopted to Reduce Burden on Practitioners Prescribing CII during COVID-19

The Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission adopted emergency rules to reduce burdens on practitioners prescribing Schedule II substances during the COVID-19 outbreak. The emergency rule amends WAC 246-887-020 and increases the duration of time a practitioner has to deliver a signed prescription when authorizing an emergency prescription of a Schedule II substance to the pharmacy from seven days to fifteen days. The emergency redefines what is a “signed prescription. ”Emergency rules filed on April 21, 2020, under WSR 20-09-133 are effective immediately and will remain enforce for 120 days.

PQAC Extends Self Inspection Deadline to May 31, 2020 During COVID-19 Pandemic


WSPA and Other State Provider Organizations Request for Liability Protection Waiver

On April 2, 2020, the WSPA collaborated with the Washington State Hospital Association and forty other state organizations on a waiver request to the Governor’s Office regarding concerns about lack of liability protections for health care workers during the COVID-19 emergency response effort. Our letter requests a targeted waiver of state law to extend the protections currently in place for out-of-state emergency volunteer workers to those who are employed and working in state.

Governor Inslee Signs Temporary Waivers for Health Care Professionals

These proclamations temporary waive laws when issued by the governor. They are effective immediately and for 30 days unless extended by the legislature. PQAC and the WSPA are working with the Governor's office to address legal barriers that impact patient access to care during the pandemic. Below is a summary of how these waivers affect current pharmacy laws and its credential holders.

Proclamation 20-36 (still active)

Ancillary Utilization Plans

Pharmacies will not need Commission approval to utilize pharmacy technicians and assistants. Pharmacies that currently do have approval to utilize pharmacy technicians and assistants will also be able to utilize pharmacy technicians and assistants in a manner that is currently inconsistent with their approved AUP. In addition, pharmacy technicians can engage in specialized functions (IV admixture and unit-dose checking) without approval of the Commission. While the approval of an AUP and specialized functions has been waived and suspended, pharmacy technicians and assistants will need to act within their statutory scope of practice and pharmacies/pharmacists remain responsible for actions taken by pharmacy technicians and assistants acting under their supervision.

License of Location

The “license of location” requirement for pharmacies has been waived and suspended. Consequently, pharmacies may store drugs outside of the physical confines of the pharmacy. Instead pharmacies could store drugs in other locations e.g. temporary pharmacy space that are not licensed. The pharmacy will still be responsible for drugs it stores outside of the physical confines of the pharmacy.

Differential Hours

Pharmacies do not need to notify the Commission thirty days before commencing differential hours. Pharmacies will also not need to undergo Commission inspection before commencing differential hours. This will affect pharmacies located within mercantile (retail) establishments.

Hand Sanitizer

All persons engaged in the manufacture and distribution of hand sanitizer to the public, may do so without obtaining a manufacturer license or shopkeeper registration. This includes both entities licensed by the Commission, and those that are not licensed by the Commission.


Proclamation 20-32 (active)


"Immediate" supervision of technicians

The governor waived language in the pharmacy technician supervision definition in WAC 246-901-010(11) to allow all pharmacy technicians to perform duties during the waiver period without immediate supervision by a licensed pharmacist. Immediate supervision is defined as visual and/or physical proximity to a licensed pharmacist.

The waiver removes "immediate" from WAC 246-901-020(1) as it relates to pharmacy technicians performing non-discretionary duties, and specialized functions consistent with their training in pharmacy practice under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist; and WAC 246-901-040 as it relates to the “immediate” supervision of pharmacy technician trainees.

Retired Pharmacist license

The governor waived language in the retired pharmacist rule WAC 246-863-080(2), which would allow a pharmacist with a retired pharmacist credential to practice pharmacy. The proclamation waived the following language from the rule: “shall not be authorized to practice pharmacy and”.

Continuing Education Requirements for Pharmacist

This waiver removes the requirement for a pharmacist seeking reinstatement or reactivation of an expired license to provide proof of 15 continuing education hour for the last two most recent years. WAC 246-861-020.

This waiver removes the requirement to complete the equivalent of 1.5 continuing education unit (equal to fifteen contact hours) of continuing education for renewing a pharmacist license. WAC 246-861-090.

This waiver removes the requirement of a pharmacist to complete the three hours of suicide training from the department of health's model list with content related to imminent harm via lethal means, during the first full continuing education reporting period after initial licensure, WAC 246-861-105.

Seven hours of HIV/AIDS training for pharmacist

This waiver removes the requirement for pharmacist applicants to complete seven hours of HIV/AIDS training for initial licensure. RCW 70.24.280, WAC 246-863-120.

Continuing Education Requirements for Pharmacy Technicians

This waiver removes the requirement for pharmacy technicians to complete the minimum of ten continuing education hours or 1.0 continuing education unit (CEU), with one hour in pharmacy law, every renewal cycle following their first certification renewal, WAC 246-901-061.


Four hours of HIV/AIDS training for pharmacy technicians and pharmacy assistants

This waiver removes the requirement for pharmacy technician and assistant applicants to complete 4-hours of HIV/AIDS training for initial licensure. RCW 70.24.280, WAC 246-901-120.


These waivers are also be posted on the PQAC website in Plan-19 under the FAQs. More waivers have been submitted by PAC relating to hand sanitizer compounding, pharmacy licenses, and more. WSPA will send out notifications when signed by the Governor.

Compounding Hand Sanitizer

The WSPA has expressed concerns to PQAC, USP and the FDA over limitations preventing compounding of hand sanitizer by pharmacies. Pursuant to the Pharmacy Commission’s discussion and vote during the Special Meeting, March 27, 2020, the commission will not refer or take enforcement actions against licensees or pharmacies that accept donated or manufactured hand sanitizer (using USP and/or non-USP grade ingredients) without obtaining a manufacturer license for consumer use and for health care personnel for the duration of the public health emergency. The hand sanitizer should be in a manner that is consistent with the guidance issued by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the United States Pharmacopeia on preparing alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

The Commission will provide an update when this position no longer effective or applicable.

The Commission thanks everyone for their patience and doing their part in providing the best care possible during these unprecedented times.

For pharmacists, pharmacies, and health care entities:

For persons or entities not currently licensed or registered with the Commission:


USP: Compounding Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizer (Updated 3/25/2020)

PQAC Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can pharmacies and health care entities manufacture hand sanitizer without obtaining a manufacturer license?

Pursuant to the Pharmacy’s Commission, pharmacies and health care entities that manufacture hand sanitizer in a manner that is consistent with the guidance issued by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or United States Pharmacopeia (using USP and/or non-USP grade ingredients) can do so without obtaining a manufacturer license. The guidance can be found at

Can individuals or business entities manufacture hand sanitizer for distribution to the public without obtaining a manufacturer license or shopkeeper registration?


Pursuant to the Pharmacy’s Commission, individuals or business entities that manufacture hand sanitizer for distribution to the public in a manner that is consistent with the guidance issued by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or United States Pharmacopeia (using USP and/or non-USP grade ingredients) can do so without obtaining a manufacturer license, pharmacy license, or shopkeeper registration. The guidance can be found at

    Payment Issues


    America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Summary of Health Plan Changes During COVID-19


    Removed Signature Requirements for Delivery of Medications for Medicaid

    Effective 03/31/2020, The Health Care Authority is temporarily removing the requirement to obtain a signature from the Medicaid client or the client’s designee upon receipt of pharmacy products dispensed and delivered directly to a client. In response to the current public health emergency surrounding the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), along with the Governor of Washington’s emergency proclamations related to COVID-19, Washington Administrative Code 182-530-5000(e)(i) has been updated to allow delivery of pharmacy products without signature from the client or the client’s designee in order to avoid unnecessary contact between the client and the delivery person.


    Any state and federal rules related to signature requirements for scheduled drugs remain in effect unless separately waived by the Washington State Department of Health and/or federal Food and Drug Administration.

    Additional Medicaid Guidance

    DEAEarly Rx Refill Guidance 


    CMS Waivers

    Washington State Insurance Commissioner Issued Emergency Order For Insurers to Waive Co-pays Related to COVID-19 Testing 

    The order directs insurance carriers to permit a one time early refill of necessary medications for patients. This will help facilitate continuance of therapy in the case of home isolation. The Order directs insurance carriers to waive co-pays and co-insurance related to COVID-19 testing. Read the full Emergency Order here:

    Other News

    DOH Encourages Pharmacists to Continue to Vaccinate High Risk Patients

    DOH Guidance for Pharmacists


    Federal Alternate Care Facility Opening Near Yakima

    Process for Requesting Federal Stockpile Meds 

    Example HHS Prescription for pop-up clinics

    WSPA Collaborates with Pharmacy Advocacy Groups

    Pharmacy organizations representing the interests of all pharmacists in the United States have released a joint set of policy recommendations critical to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Medication Hoarding and Shortages

    At the end of the week of March 15th, pharmacy professionals sounded the alarm of unethical prescribing of antimalarial and antibiotics for COVID-19. Subsequently, the Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission and Washington Medical Commission issued statements on prescribing for COVID-19. The Medical Commission's statement has been echoed by other prescriber boards and commissions.

    A Clinician's Guide to Coronavirus

    A summary of coronavirus from Harvard Medical School


    Call for Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners
    The Department of Health is supporting enrollment and activation of emergency volunteer health

    practitioners for the COVID-19 response. The department can do this under the authority of the Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioner Act (chapter 70.15 RCW).  Under RCW 70.15.050, while an emergency proclamation of the Governor is in effect, a volunteer health practitioner who is licensed in another state may practice in Washington without obtaining a Washington license if he or she is in good standing in all states of licensure and is registered in the volunteer health practitioner system. These emergency volunteers will help meet emerging demands for health practitioners in areas impacted by COVID-19.

    The first step for a volunteer to register is to complete the Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Application. You can find more information on the DOH Emergency Volunteer Medical Worker web page. Applications will be screened to ensure the potential volunteer’s health license is in good standing in each state they are licensed in. After that, the volunteer will be entered into a database of approved emergency volunteer health practitioners. The Washington State Department of Health will activate approved volunteers as needs arise while an emergency proclamation is in effect

    Volunteering to Help

    Pharmacists and technicians who would like to volunteer their skills to public health should enroll as a Medical Reserve Corp Volunteer. You can volunteer online through the MRC site.  Pharmacists and technicians can help with pop up hospitals, medication distribution, mass vaccination, screening sites, etc.


    Washington State COVID-19 Resources                                

      Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission 

     Health Care Authority (Medicaid and State Employees) COVID-19 Page

     Washington Department of Health COVID-19 Page

      Daily literature review, patient handouts and guidelines

    National Resources

     APhA's Pharmacists' Guide to Coronavirus

     This page has pharmacist specific information 


     ASHP COVID-19 Resource Page

     ASHP's resource page for health system pharmacists

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Page

    • CDC Healthcare Provider Page

    This page has consolidated recommendations for keeping pharmacy staff and patients safe.

    DEA COVID-19 Page

    CMS Coronavirus Page

     Contains CMS guidance and suspended site surveys

    FDA COVID-19 Page

     Information from the FDA about testing approvals,  etc.

    US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) COVID-19 Page 

     Sanford Guide for Coronavirus

     Summary of the infection and course

     World Health Organization COVID-19 Page

     Situation reports, and technical guidance documents

    USP COVID- 19 Compounding Resources

    Employer Resources

    WSPA Partners Share Information on CARES Act and Other Resources

    Washington State Department of Labor and Industries

    Resources for employers

    COVID-19 & Fair Labor Standards Act

     Remote work, using volunteers and part time workers

     Families First Summary by KFF

     Funding and ramifications for small employers and employees

     Small Business Administration: Resources and Loans

     Resources for pharmacies and the emergency loans 

     Office of the Insurance Commissioner Q&A for COVID-19

     A helpful Q&A about insurance changes related to COVID-19

    Washington Governor's Resource Page for Small Businesses

     Resources available to small businesses

    more Calendar

    Webinar: COVID-19 and What You can Do For Your Immune System (and Your Patients)

    Webinar: A Breath of Fresh Air in CF Care: Updates in Treatment and Role of Pharmacy in Care Center

    WSPA Ambulatory Care Academy Meeting-Virtual

    Online Surveys
    1402 - ICU Medical Inc Campaign
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