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The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, through the Pittsburgh Vaccine Trials Unit (PVTU), is one of 12 sites across the country selected to participate in a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases clinical trial in which fully vaccinated adults will receive a third “booster” dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The trial will study the safety and immune response of a mixed-booster regimen. Read more

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Excela Health continues to be recognized for exceptional patient care, with Excela Westmoreland Hospital once again receiving an “A” in The Leapfrog Group’s Spring 2021 Hospital Safety Grades. The designation comes for the second consecutive grading period and reaffirms Excela Health’s continuing efforts in protecting patients from harm and meeting the highest safety standards in the United States. Read more

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HARRISBURG — The Department of Health announced beginning Feb. 21, regional drive-thru, outdoor walk-up and indoor walk-in COVID-19 testing clinics will be held in Westmoreland, Huntingdon, Lackawanna, Northumberland and Venango counties. The counties with testing sites will continue to change weekly over the next two weeks so that 61 counties will eventually be covered by dedicated pop-up testing sites over a 12-week period. Read more

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PITTSBURGH — Following Gov. Tom Wolf’s third 90-day extension of Pennsylvania’s Proclamation of a Disaster Emergency, UPMC Health Plan confirmed that it will continue to waive all deductibles, coinsurance and copays for in-network, inpatient COVID-19 treatment for its members enrolled in its Medicare Advantage plans, fully-insured employer group and individual ACA plans, as well as in self-insured employer group plans that opt into this coverage. This policy change is effective immediately and will stay in effect through Feb. 28 as permitted under state and federal emergency declarations. Read more

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In response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak in the United States, a growing number of cases being diagnosed in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the concurrent presence of influenza, Allegheny Health Network (AHN) officials Wednesday announced new, temporary restrictions on patient visitation at its hospitals in order to protect patients and caregivers. Read more

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(Metro) — Children who are too young to communicate through language often relay their needs through crying. A piercing cry is designed to get Mom and Dad’s attention and is an effective way to convey hunger, soiled diapers and/or illness. Many parents have become adept at reading the subtle differences between cries to better understand their children’s needs. Read more

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