Daily COVID-19 Email Update - May 6, 2020

A Message From Adrianne Drollette, NCOS Executive Director



NCOS Webinar: 20/20 Vision - A Further Look Into COVID-19 Employment Issues

NCOS has partnered with Ward and Smith, P.A. to bring NCOS members another exclusive webinar!

What: 20/20 Vision - A Further Look Into COVID-19 Employment Issues
When: Thursday, May 7 at 8:00 PM
Speaker: Ken Gray, Labor and Employment Attorney at Ward and Smith, P.A.

Register Now!

Join Ken Gray, leader of Ward and Smith, P.A.'s labor and employment group, as he reviews COVID-19-related employment issues that may affect members of the North Carolina Optometric Society, including recent updates from the Department of Labor.

The goal of this webinar is to address specific issues, so please provide any questions you would like answered in advance to Adrianne Drollette at [email protected]. All questions received by noon on May 7, will be answered in the webinar.

Click here to read Ken's full bio.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

This webinar will be recorded and made available the next day.


North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry

The NCSBEO has issued eight advisories.

Click here to read the latest advisory.


A Summary Report on Medicare Changes During COVID-19

NC DHHS COVID-19 Task Force Call Summary - May 6, 2020

  1. A review of the 4 metrics used in considering reopening NC was discussed. The slide below is a nice summary of where we are. As most know, Governor Cooper signed an executive order to reopen the state on May 8, 2020. A summary of what is involved in Phase 1 can be found here.


  2. The NC DHHS COVID-19 data website now has cases and deaths by zip code so you can use this tool to determine where the cases are in your area. They are also listing the congregate living cases and deaths in more detail. These reports are updated every Tuesday and Friday.

  3. Details were provided regarding the migrant farm workers in NC. There are about 80,000 farm workers in North Carolina. Of these workers, 60,000 are immigrants with 20,000 here on H2A permits. The majority of these live in conditions of group living which does not lend itself well to social distancing. There have been a number of cases of COVID-19 reported in this population. The NC Farmworker Health Program is addressing the issues related to this virus in the population. There are many barriers to care in this community which are outlined in the slide below.

  4. At this point, NC continues to have an adequate number of hospital beds and ventilators should the number of cases and hospitalizations begin to climb.  
  5. The goal for tests per day in NC is rising. The goal is to be able to test 5% of the population with 5000-6000 tests per day. The decision makers think this goal is realistic and is currently being met.
  6. You can find all of this information here.  



Physicians and Other Clinicians: CMS Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19


Information From Palmetto GBA

eServices Claim Submission (eClaim) Tips

This article contains helpful tips for submitting eClaims through eServices. Please share with appropriate staff.

Click here to view the article.

Railroad Medicare: How Can I Call Customer Service?

For provider inquiries, you can call the Provider Contact Center toll-free at 888-355-9165, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Click here for more information.

Railroad Medicare: How Do I Report A Provider Address Change?

Please complete the address change with your local Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) before submitting the change to Railroad Medicare. Once you receive confirmation that the address has been updated with your MAC, please allow 7-14 business days before sending notification to Railroad Medicare.

Click here for more information.


Register Today: #AskAOA Webinar on Practice Reopenings for Paraoptometrics

The current COVID-19 public health emergency continues to create challenges and uncertainties for many doctors of optometry, but AOA remains committed to relaying actionable, timely information and guidance that doctors need to know immediately.

The latest #AskAOA Webinar will focus on practice reactivation guidance and recommendations for paraoptometric staff with information concerning waiting room design, cleaning procedures, best practices for re-engaging patients and more.

What: #AskAOA Practice Reactivation Guidance for Paraoptometric Staff
When: 9 p.m. ET, Thursday, May 14

Register here.


SECO LIVE CE Webinar 'When Good Drugs Go Bad: Ocular Adverse Side Effects'

This course will review systemic medications associated with ocular adverse drug reactions. The course will also present recommendations for monitoring patients on these medications.

When: Thursday, May 7 at 7:00 PM
Speaker: Tammy Than, OD

Register Now!

NOTE: COPE has approved this course as LIVE CE. You will receive the same credit as if you attended a live face-to-face CE event.


Articles From the News and Observer

Bill Targets Executive Orders

A new bill, the "NC Freedom to Work Act," proposed in the North Carolina General Assembly would allow businesses and individuals to violate several of Gov. Roy Cooper's executive orders related to coronavirus with virtually no consequences.

The bill would allow businesses to reopen with a $25 civil fine and no criminal charges instead of up to $1,000 fine or criminal charges. It has the support of ReOpenNC organizers and some conservatives in the state senate.

Wi-Fi Buses

School buses will soon provide internet access to students using remote learning as North Carolina schools remain closed amid the coronavirus pandemic. The buses will be equipped with Wi-Fi hot spots and will travel to "underserved" areas and park in drive-up locations so students can use the internet to turn in assignments, download learning materials or connect with their teachers online. The Wi-Fi buses can also be used for people to apply for unemployment or connect with a doctor.

Coronavirus Live Updates: Here's What to Know in North Carolina on May 6


Now, Something Completely Different!

May 2020 full moon: How to see the Flower Moon and the last supermoon of 2020.

Click here!


New Resources

What's New In Phase One? (5/6/20)

North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry Latest Advisory (5/5/20)

Complying With Medicare Signature Requirements (5/5/20)

Scientists Say a Now-dominant Strain of the Coronavirus Appears to be More Contagious Than Original (5/5/20)

Virus Mutations Reveal How COVID-19 Really Spread (5/4/20)

Physicians and Other Clinicians: CMS Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19 (4/29/20)


COVID-19 Statistics

NCDHHS COVID-19 Dashboard

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center 

WorldoMeter Coronavirus Website