CEDAR POINTE OPTOMETRY RETURN TO WORK: INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL
June 1, 2020
We are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and want to assure you our priority is the health and safety of our patients and staff. Our clinic is following the advice provided by Canadian and provincial health officials and taking extra precautionary measures to reduce the risk of transmission. We are now able to return to routine eye care with proper disinfecting procedures and PPE in place.
Our Standard Operating Procedures have changed to comply with the requirements of our regulatory body, The College of Optometrists of Ontario.
For the safety of our community, if you have or you are experiencing any symptoms such as a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or have travelled or been in contact with individuals who have travelled outside of Canada, or have concerns with your health, we kindly request that you contact us to reschedule your appointment.
COVID-19 Safety Protocol
- Patients with appointments are prioritized to enter the office. The appointments have been staggered to allow for physical space and social distancing.
- All patients will be pre-screened to ensure they are symptom free. Information will be taken by phone to limit the time in office; email, contact information, health card etc.
- Upon entry to the clinic, hand sanitization is required by all staff, patients and Optometrists.
- Additional sanitization procedures are in effect for all areas within the clinic that come into high contact, including but not limited to, phones, desks, door handles, payment terminals, chairs etc.
- Physical distancing will be maintained in the office as much as possible (6 feet/2 meters)
- Masks, covering nose and mouth, are mandatory for all patients, (over 2 years of age). Patients will be asked to bring and wear their own mask. If they do not have a mask, one will be provided at a cost. If a patient does not want to wear a mask after being explained the requirement by the College of Optometrist, their appointment can be postponed to a future time when these restrictions have been lifted.
- All Optometrists and staff must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) covering their mouth, nose, and eyes when interacting with patients. Face shields may be used when in close contact as well.
- Check in and check out at front desk will be done using the plexiglass dividers.
- Limiting touch points in the office is essential, such as limiting the use of the rest room, chair hopping, wandering the office, etc.
- Individual appointments are necessary to limit the traffic in the office and help with physical distancing. Only if a patient requires assistance should another person accompany the patient to the appointment.
- A limited amount of equipment may be used. Automated visual field testing may need to be rescheduled to a later date. New contact lens fittings and teachings will need to be rescheduled to a later date until the protocol changes. Continuing contact lens care (refits) and replacement contact lens services will continue.
- Retinal imaging/OCT will now be performed on all patients where possible. This will help patients spend less time in the clinic and provide an unparalleled look at the patient’s retina before entering the exam room. As a contact-less procedure, this will limit exposure for patients and minimize the optometrist’s time in close proximity to the patient’s face. Dilated eye examinations may be postponed, but will be conducted if there is clinical evidence to do so.
- Adhering to strict disinfection and infection protocols is mandatory. Equipment and tools will be sanitized after each use between patients.
Alcohol (70-95% ethyl or isopropyl alcohol), 1:50 dilution of household bleach, Lysol, Pine Sol and QUAT will be generally appropriate for disinfection of diagnostic equipment, chairs, frames, occluders, pens etc.
Hydrogen peroxide (6-7%) will be considered generally appropriate for disinfection of contact lens cases, and any equipment that touches the patients’eyes. (e.g., spuds, alger brushes, lacrimal dilators, lid tools, tonometer probes, gonioscopy lenses etc.). After disinfection, saline-rinse followed by air dry is general appropriate.
- All frequently used, and not easily cleaned items in the waiting room such as magazines, brochures and toys have been removed. Chairs in the waiting room have been spaced out at 2m/6 feet to allow for social distancing.
- Plexiglass shields have been installed at the front desk, dispensing desks and on exam room equipment such as slit lamps.
- Gloves are used by the doctors when needing to touch or manipulate a patient’s lids. Hand sanitization is done before and after all touch points by the optometrist. Gloves may be used by staff when handling glasses or making adjustments.
- All frames are cleaned and dried before being placed back on display. All frames that have been touched will be placed in a tray in order to be sanitized.
- Contact lens orders will be offered as direct ship. Contact lens and eyewear pick ups will be available curbside or by appointment only.
- Frame selection and repairs are by appointment only.
- All Optometrist and staff clothing/scrubs will be washed at the end of each shift and a clean change of clothes to change into prior to leaving the office.
- All Optometrists and staff will self declare their health status at the beginning of each day. Optometrists and staff must not present to work when ill or with symptoms of infection. Any person with symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home and contact their primary health care provider or Telehealth. Any confirmed case of COVID-19 in an optometrist, staff member or visitor to the office will be reported to the local Public Health Unit and follow their subsequent directions.
Risk Assessment and Screening
A risk assessment and screening will be performed before every interaction with a patient, including at the time of scheduling an appointment, upon arrival at the office, and in the examination room. When scheduling appointments, optometrists will screen patients for symptoms of COVID-19, recent travel history, and reason for visit.
Optometrists will not schedule an appointment for any person with a positive screening result for COVID-19, who has common symptoms of COVID-19 or other febrile illness, who is living with someone that has symptoms, or who has travelled outside of Canada within the past 14 days. Patients with a positive screening result for COVID-19 will be referred to Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000).
If a patient has possible symptoms of COVID-19, or a recent travel history, and urgent eye care may be required, optometrists will consult an ophthalmologist or access the ophthalmologist on-call, depending on the arrangements in our local community. If no other options are available, patients with symptoms of COVID-19 who require urgent eye care can be referred to the emergency room.