May 19, 2021

Dear Patients,

We are hoping that there is light at the end of the tunnel that is the COVID-19 pandemic.

In line with CDC recommendations, we have modified some of our COVID-19 protocols. Our goal is to continue to provide a safe environment for staff and patients while in our office. Please read below to understand what we will be doing in the office, and what we are asking you to do to ensure the best experience.

Scheduling:
• We will continue to have a modified schedule in order to allow for proper disinfection of exam rooms, testing equipment and surfaces throughout the office between patient encounters. This does put appointments at a premium, and we ask that you notify us as soon as possible if you are unable to keep an appointment, so that we can offer that time to another patient.
• If you are immunocompromised or have other cause for increased concern about contracting COVID, please let us know. We can schedule you for the first appointment of the day, before other people arrive.
• All visits will continue to be by appointment, including optical services that were previously done on a walk-in basis (eyeglass pick-ups, adjustments, repairs).
Prior to your appointment:
• There is no longer a quarantine required for travel within the United States. Quarantine requirements remain in effect for international travel, and as such we ask that appointments be scheduled two weeks after arriving back home from international travel.
• We will ask you to fill out your ocular, medical, and family history online before your appointment. This will make your visit more efficient and will minimize the amount of time you need to spend in the office. You will be emailed a link to our online forms shortly after booking your visit.

For your appointment:
• We ask that all patients continue to wear masks while they are in the office, in accordance with current CDC and State Board of Optometry regulations for health care settings.
• Please arrive on time.
• We will check your temperature when you arrive, before you enter the building. If your temperature is 100.4 degrees or higher, you will not be allowed to enter the office.
• While we have reopened our reception area, we still seek to reduce the amount of people in the office at a time. To that end, if you are able to be in the office alone, please do so. For patients who require someone with them for any reason, please limit to one additional person. When multiple family members are being seen, we may ask that some family members wait in the car until we are ready to begin their examinations.
• We will be performing wide-angle retinal photos on all patients who are here for annual exams, to streamline the exam and minimize the amount of close contact time required between doctor and patient. The fee for these photos is $39. Most insurances do not cover the cost.
• All examination rooms and equipment are sanitized between every patient, exceeding current CDC recommendations. Exam rooms are used alternately to maximize air circulation between patients.

Contact lenses:
• Contact lenses can be safely worn during the COVID-19 pandemic and we are happy to fit new wearers with contact lenses. Please be advised that we sometimes are not able to initiate the contact lens fitting instruction and exam on the same day as your routine eye health exam.
• If you currently wear contact lenses, please bring your own case and solution to the appointment.

Eyeglasses:
• We have plexiglass shields on our optical tables to allow patients to try on glasses without wearing their mask.
• All glasses on our displays are clean and ready to be tried on. Please place glasses in labeled bins after you try them on. These will be disinfected before being placed back on the displays for other patients to try.
• If you want to get the opinion of multiple friends or family members as you are selecting glasses, we ask that you use Facetime or video chat to do so.

It is hard to believe it has been a year since we reopened in May 2020. We are thankful for our wonderful patients and look forward to things being closer to “normal”. Thank you for your patience and for being our patients!
– The docs and staff of Somerset Eye Care