May 22, 2020

Dear Patients,

With the COVID-19 pandemic on everyone’s mind, we have changed some of our office policies and procedures to make sure we are providing care in the safest possible way. 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 have significantly decreased the number of available appointments each day, to minimize the number of people in the office at one time. 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 are by appointment, including optical services that were previously done on a walk-in basis (eyeglass pick-ups, adjustments, repairs).

Prior to your appointment:
• All patients will receive a screening questionnaire to determine COVID-19 risk. If you have significant risk factors or are likely to have COVID-19, you will be asked to reschedule.
• 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. If you are unable to do this, one of our staff members will call you to get the information by phone.

For your appointment:
• Please arrive on time.
• 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 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.
• We ask that all patients wear masks while they are in the office, in accordance with CDC and State Board of Optometry regulations. If for medical reasons you are unable to wear a mask, please advise staff when you make the appointment, so that we can ensure you are properly scheduled.
• 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
• We will fit new wearers with contact lenses; however, if extended instruction is required, we may ask you to wait to begin your fit.
• If you 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.

We are excited to have patients back in the office, and at the same time a little bit nervous to see what this “new normal” will be like. Thank you for your patience and for being our patients!

– The docs and staff of Somerset Eye Care