MARCH 17, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

The RIOA continues to monitor the substantial actions taken by federal, state and local leaders and agencies to slow and ultimately stop the spread of COVID-19.

With this in mind, we wanted to share with you some steps or measures you should consider as you navigate through these unprecedented and historic times.

  • The CDC's current recommendation is to encourage social distancing and to refrain from gatherings of no more than ten people.
  • Screening conducted by telephone may be a way to mitigate the potential of risk from office visits. Ideally, this would be done on the day of service. Office hours could be delayed to accommodate for this.

Use the CDC recommended patient evaluation flow chart

  • Consider staggering appointment times or spread out appointments to socially distance patients.
  • Contemplate implementing virtual check-ins via text from your parking lot to reduce time in your waiting room.
  • Consider taking the temperature of patients that have to be seen when they enter your office.
  • Ask caregivers accompanying patients to their appointments to remain in their cars unless assistance is absolutely needed to reduce congregating in waiting rooms - implement social distancing procedures.
  • Reduce patients moving from room to room and keep patients isolated from others as much as possible.
  • Use universal precautions and follow disinfection recommendations from the CDC. This goes beyond basic personal and clinic hygiene. Re-evaluate your disinfecting procedures.
  • Consider strategies to reduce person to person exposure at the slit lamp.
  • Contemplate how you want to handle in office contact lens hygiene especially for new fits.
  • Click here to access a one page document entitled "COVID-19 Workplace Fact Sheet"
  • Consider rotating doctors and staff seeing patients on different days (platooning) to reduce risk of multiple practitioners from being exposed simultaneously.
  • Implement telemedicine and phone triage techniques for nonemergency eye conditions in order to care for patients.

As you know, substantial efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19 remain fluid. The RIOA will continue to monitor key messages from local, state and federal agencies and will relay them to you as information warrants it.


Bob Parks Signature

Robert J. Parks, OD

RIOA President