COVID-19 Risk Reduction: May 29, 2020
We are committed to creating the safest possible environment for your visit. This requires everybody to do their part.
These are the office rules for everyone:
- Do NOT come to the office if:
- The patient OR ANYONE AT HOME has sore throat, fever, fatigue, loss of smell, GI upset, or respiratory symptoms (cough, sneeze, etc).
- The patient has the been in the presence of someone with known COVID-19 in the last 2 to 14 days.
Before you arrive, we will ask about these symptoms. Do the right thing and be honest. Your child’s eye exam is not worth someone else’s life.
- No mask = no entry. Homemade mask or scarves are OK. Everyone 2 years and up must wear a face covering.
- Everybody’s temperature gets checked at the door with a non-contact thermometer. No entry if temperature >99.5. No exceptions. Staff are checked twice daily.
- Kindly do not rearrange chairs. They are set for social distancing.
- Minimal conversation in exam rooms. We are happy to talk a lot with you before and after via phone or videoconference.
Here are more granular details:
Before you visit: Safety starts at home
For everybody’s safety, we need to minimize the time you are in the office and reduce the amount of talking we do in person. Shared air = contagion risk.
- Forms are to be completed at home whenever possible. We will send you any necessary forms to complete and return digitally. If you cannot do so, please bring a pen and something to lean against: we will give you paper forms to complete outside the office if you didn’t do it electronically (hopefully, it won’t be raining that day!).
- History will be conducted by telephone or videoconference before you arrive for your appointment.
- Bring your own pen in case there are forms to be signed.
When you visit:
Waiting Room safety
- No mask = no entry. Everyone 2 years or older must wear a mask (homemade is fine), and we ask that children younger than 2 try to wear a mask.
- One parent, one child. We know there are child care issues, we know this is very difficult or impossible, but this is the deal until COVID19 is gone. We are extending our hours from 8AM to 7PM and opening on more Saturdays. Hopefully this makes it possible at some point during the day.
- Everybody gets a temperature check with a non-contact thermometer when they arrive.
- You will be asked the same questions as at the top of this page. Be honest!
- Temp < 99.5 = OK. Temp ≥ 99.5 = please leave.
- Normal temperature = green sticker. Wear it and relax.
- If you see someone without a green sticker, politely ask them why.
- Waiting room chairs have been arranged for social distancing. Do not rearrange, please.
- We are limiting the number of patients in the waiting room at all times: our goal is zero patients in the waiting room. If you are late, we might not be able to see you.
- We have removed toys and magazines from the waiting area.
- Bring toys, coloring books, electronics (at low volume please) for your child.
- We do have a TV that runs cartoons and movies. Do not rearrange chairs or allow your child to leave your side if you can’t see the screen.
- We will be cleaning the waiting room throughout the day.
Exam time: Shhhhh…
- Talking increases virus transmission even if someone feels fine. While not as dangerous as coughing or sneezing, talking creates some risk to others – this is why everyone wears a mask. Minimal conversation in the exam room, please. This is why we take a history before you arrive – and we’ll call you again, later if you like to discuss things further.
- Crying/screaming babies and children = very high risk to doctors.
- Doctors will be wearing respirators and eye shields when examining young children or those likely to cry or scream. Apologies for the biohazard look, but that’s exactly what it is.
- Ophthalmologists, ENT specialists, and dentists have died from COVID they contracted from patients. These are high risk situations. Help us be safe, please.
- We will do everything necessary to deliver top-notch, excellent care but the exam may seem a bit rushed. In and out = safer for you + safer for us.
- If your child needs to be dilated, we might ask you to do so at home and return at a future date. Crying/screaming/yelling = increased virus transmission.
- We will dilate select patients in the office. You can wait in the waiting room or your car, if you prefer. If you go to your car, make sure to tell the front desk so we call you back.
- Unless dilation is necessary, we will err on the side of not doing it. In and out = safer for you + safer for us.
- Don’t stop at the front desk to schedule the next visit. We will call you or you can call us.
After your visit:
- If needed, we will call via phone or videoconference to further discuss the findings and treatment plan.
- If you or your child could benefit from surgery, this will mean a longer conversation.
- We are happy to email you further information if we didn’t provide it during the visit.
- Our staff will call you to schedule the next appointment. In and out = safer for you + safer for us.
Here are some links you might find useful in regard to the above:
CDC – Steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/sick-with-2019-nCoV-fact-sheet.pdf American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) guidance: