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                 INFORMATION FOR OPTICIANS

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented lifestyle changes and restricted working conditions for all. During these extraordinary times, the Ontario Opticians Association (OOA) is committed to providing you with any and all information that comes our way. To this end, we have created this space as a place to keep you updated. I have also posted my email address in order for you to reach out to me personally with your questions or information you think is worth sharing.  We will vet all information that comes our way in order to be up-to-date and accurate.

 

April 7, 2020

Help is on the way. The Government of Canada has opened up the lines for Canadians to apply for the Canada Emergency Fund Benefit. Day one had over 300,000 Canadians apply for CERB. There is also help on the way for employers. Qualifying businesses will be eligible for a $40,000 interest free loan. This loan will be interest free until December 31, 2022. At that time the balance of the loan due will be converted to a five-year term loan at an interest rate of 5%. If a business pays back $30,000 of the $40,000 loan by December 31, 2020, the remaining balance of $10,000 is forgiven. There is also relief available for employers to encourage them to keep employees working. In ormation can be found here.

March 25, 2020

The College of Opticians of Ontario (COO) has distributed a message to opticians and dispensary owners. In this directive the COO reminds owners that opticians must adhere to the directive that states that only essential services are provided. I encourage all opticians and business owners to review this latest update.  

 

While these directives remain in effect, the College has advised opticians that they are required to suspend all non-essential in-person patient care. - COO

 

This means that casual eyewear sales are not permitted. It is the decision of the optician whether the service required can be provided remotely or safely in-person. The COO update also includes a list of measures dispensaries can take to help ensure the safety of the patient and the optician. There are also a few suggestions to help the optician decide what could be deemed essential.

 

I want to reiterate once again, it is up to the optician to decide whether the service required can be provided  remotely or safely in-person.

 

March 24, 2020

The Premier has announced Ontario is asking all essential businesses to remain open. Opticians seem to fall into this category as we dispense medical devices, including safety eyewear. Last Friday the Chief Medical Officer said only emergency care should be carried out. Confusing. Opticians must make themselves available, one way or another. More on that in our next post. This takes us all a big step beyond the previously issued restrictions and requirements for social distancing. Practice social distancing and wash your hands, surfaces and eyewear you touch.

We are going to get through this. How we behave now will dictate how long and how devastating this pandemic might be.

 

Stay healthy and be safe!!

 

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