Optometry Coronavirus Resource Center

This virtual hub shares helpful resources on the coronavirus pandemic for optometry students, practicing ODs, and practice owners.

Live Discussions on COVID-19 🎤

Follow us on Instagram (@covalentcareers.optometry) for a series of Instagram Live chats with optometrists and experts on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Past events:

Dr. Mick Kling, OD discusses how eyecare practice owners can manage finances during this difficult time. Watch recording

Resources from the eyecare community 👓

See your state’s definition of “essential business operations”:

FAQ

According to Jobson’s most recent survey of optometry practices, 76% of respondents are expecting to reduce their hours—either by fewer hours per day, fewer days per week, or by closing temporarily.

Many optometry practices are proactively postponing routine visits per the CDC’s recommendations , and many more are seeing more patients canceling appointments.

At the same time, we’re also seeing practices exploring their options in the field of telehealth, allowing them to still provide care at a distance while keeping themselves and their communities safe.

Healthcare is definitely needed at the moment, but the CDC’s official recommendation for healthcare organizations is to suspend all non-essential business operations. While you cannot know ahead of time what types of patients will come through the door, you should preview your schedule ahead of time. Is your schedule packed with check-ups and refractions? Or are these urgent visits and time made for walk-ins?

The CDC’s official recommendation is to postpone all routine appointments but remain open for emergency care. This is to limit the spread of the disease while still offering critical access to healthcare for many people. We suggest that you keep tabs on CDC guidance, as well as following any guidelines disseminated by your state optometric association and the AOA.

If your schedule seems to be filled with routine visits, you should call those patients to verify that they are non-urgent and postpone their appointments if they are. They, you, and your whole community will be glad you did.

According to experts in eye health, there is no evidence that wearing spectacles or glasses will protect against COVID-19 or any other virus.

Regardless of whether you are wearing contact lenses or glasses, wash your hands thoroughly before and after touching your eyes.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, there are several reports suggesting that COVID-19 can indeed cause conjunctivitis. Even if what you’re seeing is due to an increase in self-reporting from patients who are worried that they are becoming symptomatic for coronavirus, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If a patient presents with conjunctivitis, particularly with accompanying respiratory symptoms, doctors and staff should wear protective equipment for their eyes, mouth, and nose, as well as gloves.

Currently, the CDC’s recommendations for healthcare facilities—and this does not include the directions of states or local authorities, which may be more or less stringent—suggest limiting patient contact to urgent or emergency care. This means exploring alternative methods of caring for patients, such as telehealth, and triaging patients who present to the clinic, particularly if or when they present with accompanying respiratory symptoms.