Covid-19 & Kidney Disease

Can I be denied dialysis treatment if I have COVID-19?

No. People who are on dialysis and who have also contracted COVID-19 are considered to be at high-risk. If there is availability, these patients may even be admitted to a hospital. In the event your symptoms are mild, you should be able to go to your dialysis center for your scheduled treatments.

The Centers for Disease Control has already issued interim guidance for patients on dialysis who have COVID-19 and all centers should be following these guidelines.

If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19, or have symptoms of COVID-19, or believe you may have been exposed to the coronavirus, then call your dialysis center prior to your scheduled appointment as there may be new procedures they would like you to follow.

Is the re-use of masks at dialysis centers acceptable?

There have reports that dialysis providers are using masks in an abundance of caution, which may also lead to re-use of masks in times of shortage.

It is best for people receiving dialysis to discuss the issue of reusing masks with their dialysis provider.

There are CDC recommendations for the re-use of masks for areas experiencing severe shortages. Some of these recommendations include:

  • Facemasks that fasten via ties may not be able to be undone without tearing and should not be re-used.
  • Facemasks with elastic ear hooks may be more suitable for re-use.
    If these masks are to be re-used, the facemask should be carefully folded so that the outer surface is held inward and against itself to reduce contact with the outer surface during storage. The folded mask can be stored between uses in a clean sealable paper bag or breathable container.

These guidelines were drafted for healthcare professionals, but the Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) believes they also apply to patients.

Should I go to my dialysis treatments?

Yes, you must go to all your dialysis treatments. Missing even one treatment can make you very sick or lead to death. Dialysis centers have been given strict guidelines on how to keep you safe from COVID-19.

If you’re feeling sick in any way, please call your center before you come for your treatment.

How are dialysis centers protecting patients?

The Centers for Disease Control has issued interim guidance for patients on dialysis who have COVID-19 and all centers should be following these guidelines.

Everyone, including all patients receiving treatment at the center, home dialysis patients, staff, and visitors who may have been exposed to the coronavirus, and people who currently have symptoms of COVID-19 should be asked if they:

  • have had any fevers or any breathing or respiratory (lung) symptoms
    live in an area with confirmed COVID-19 cases
  • had contact with someone who is being checked for COVID-19, or if they have recently been in another country where COVID-19 has spread
  • Centers should take patients’ temperatures at check-in.
  • Have separate waiting areas for sick patients that are at least six feet from other patients (some centers allow healthy patients to wait outside or in their cars until it’s their turn to be seen)
  • Patients with respiratory symptoms should be given wear masks to wear and they should be dialyzing six feet away in all directions from healthy patients. In some centers, patients with respiratory symptoms may be dialyzed in a separate area.
  • Visitors with signs/symptoms of infection should not be permitted to enter the dialysis center
  • Use cleaning procedures that kill the coronavirus, along with all routine cleaning and disinfection procedures.

What should I do before going to my dialysis center?

If you are experiencing any respiratory symptoms, you should call the center ahead of your visit to let them know.
Pack hand sanitizer and use it frequently

What foods should I have on hand?

Dialysis friendly foods are low potassium, low phosphorous, low sodium

Fruits, 1/2 cup = 1 serving (limit to 2-3 servings/day)

Canned or sealed container, no sugar added: (drained and rinsed)
Fruit Cocktail
Mandarin Oranges
Fruit punch

Vegetables, 1/2 cup = 1 serving (limit to 2-3 servings/day)

Canned or sealed container, low-sodium or no salt added (drained and rinsed)
Bamboo Shoots
Green Beans
Sweet Peas
Water Chestnuts


Canned or sealed container, low-sodium: (drained and rinsed)
Shelf stable Tofu
Dried or no sodium added/low-sodium canned pinto or fava beans (1/4 cup) (drained and rinsed)
Unsalted Nut Butter

Dairy (1/2 cup/day)

Dry Milk Solids
Evaporated milk
Shelf stable milk alternative (refrigeration required after opened)
Rice, soy, almond


Light Rye
Dry Cereal: unsalted, puffed wheat or rice. Avoid bran and high fiber. Good choices include, but are not limited to:
Honey Bunches of Oats
Life Cereal
Puffed Rice
Rice Krispies
Special K Oats & Honey
Cooked Cereal
Cream of rice or wheat
White Pasta
White or brown rice
Unsalted crackers


Unsalted butter or margarine
Low-sodium mayonnaise (single packets)
Vegetable oil
Olive oil
Canola oil


Animal crackers
Chewing gum
Graham crackers
Hard candy
Vanilla Wafers



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