Sent to all dialysis facility leadership and disaster contacts in NY State with valid email addresses in CROWNWeb, and all Emergency partners and stakeholders in the Network Service Area.
COMING to YOUR dialysis facility SOON!
"Project America Strong" - Cloth Face Coverings

A box of Face Coverings shipped via USPS from the United States Government's Project America Strong website

Background:  The cloth face coverings noted on the call are not PPE but instead are reusable cotton face coverings that can be used in public settings where other social distancing may be difficult to maintain.The federal government initiated a project, now named “Project America Strong”, to provide cloth face coverings for essential workers and others that may be at-risk. As dialysis patients and staff may be at risk when traveling back and forth to the clinics, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sought prioritization to help provide these cloth masks for those activities as many did not have access to masks or PPE given the critical PPE shortages. 

Collaboration with the Kidney Community Emergency Coalition (KCER) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): Working with KCER and CMS, HHS developed a facility level dataset that includes all of the facilities listed in CMS’ Crown Web database (addresses, patient counts) and staffing estimates were developed based on the methods that the KCER call participants approved on a call in April. This dataset was provided to US Postal Service who just notified us that they had begun shipping these boxes on May 7, 2020. A “Project America Strong” informational summary is provided below as well as in the attachment to this email. 
Shipments:  Facilities will begin to receive box(es) beginning next week. The box(es) will contain a 100 packages and each package contains (5) reusable cloth face coverings. The box shipping label that will state: Nurse MGR/Clinic ADMIN, facility name, ATTN: Face Coverings, facility address, city, state and zip code. The facility staff can distribute a package to their staff and patients for use as outlined in the information and links below. Please note that each cloth face covering can be used and washed up to 15 times; which will provide approximately 75 days of use by package. 

About: Project America Strong” Cloth Face Coverings
The federal government launched “Project America Strong” to distribute reusable cotton face coverings in support of the critical infrastructure sectors across the country. CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores, pharmacies, traveling to and from medical appointments) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. The cotton face covering is a barrier between the individual and the people around them. The face coverings provided by the government are 100% cotton and contain silver and copper, which help prevent the growth of viruses and germs. Facilities, such as those for long-term care and dialysis, can encourage residents, patients, and staff to use cloth face coverings to limit disease transmission when personal protective equipment is not required.
Distribute the face covering to residents and staff
Wearing this face covering, coupled with  important safety measures recommended by the CDC , can help limit the spread of the virus in a facility to staff, patients, or residents. Staff and patients can use cloth face coverings when PPE is not required, such as commuting to and from the facility. When possible, residents should wear a cloth face covering or facemask when they leave their rooms in addition to performing hand hygiene, limiting their movement in the facility, and maintaining physical distance (stay at least 6 feet away from others).
Informational Resources:
New CROWNWeb ICD-10 Codes for COVID-19

Please be advised that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has added codes to the CMS-2746 form in CROWNWeb specifically to capture deaths related to COVID-19.
The new codes are:

For additional information, go to:

Further guidance will be provided from CMS if you have already submitted a 2746 with other death codes.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Updates

CDC has released a “ Frontline Staff Toolkit for Outpatient Hemodialysis Facilities . ” This new resource highlights the importance of infection prevention and control practices in outpatient dialysis facilities to slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Staff who are having frequent patient interactions and providing direct care in outpatient hemodialysis facilities are encouraged to watch and learn more about everyday infection prevention practices, as well as some additional practices that are essential during COVID-19. These brief educational videos can be viewed as a set or in segments as time allows:
Tips for Outpatient Hemodialysis Facilities during COVID-19:
This toolkit is intended to be used along with other COVID-19 dialysis specific resources   and ongoing activities within your clinic.

 A list of CDC key documents and practical tools is below for your reference.
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH)

  • 5/8 Weekly NYC DOHMH Update on COVID-19 for NYC Healthcare Providers Link
  • 4/10 COVID-19 Social Distancing and Face Covering Link
  • 4/1 HAN #9 Conserve all Personal Protective Equipment NOW Link
New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH)

  • NEW! 4/26 Protocol for COVID-19 Testing Applicable to All Health Care Providers and Local Health Departments Link
  • NEW! 4/26 COVID-19 Serology Testing Availability and Guidelines Link
  • 4/15 Interim Guidance on Executive Order 202.16 Requiring Face Coverings for Public and Private Employees Interacting with the Public During the COVID-19 Outbreak Link
  • 4/10 Guidance for retail stores to implement dedicated shopping hours for seniors and people with vulnerable illnesses Link
  • 4/7 Health Advisory: COVID-19 Guidance for Dialysis Treatment Link
  • 4/2 Options When PPE in Short Supply Link
Network Support: 24/7 COVID-19 Hotline

The IPRO ESRD Network of New York is available to support you 24-hours, 7-days a week. Please call our dedicated COVID-19 hotline at 516-209-5578 to report impact, discuss positive cases, concerns/needs, reporting questions, or to request support and resources. Our team is also accessible to provide technical assistance or guidance during this public health emergency. 

Visit the Network's website for up-to-date information on CMS and CDC guidelines, alerts, educational resources, and stakeholder/community webinars.