UPDATED DECEMBER 23RD, 2020
On Monday December 21st 2020, the Ontario Government announced that they would be implementing a Province wide lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19.
This has left many Opticians wondering whether or not they should continue to operate their dispensaries under these lockdown orders.
The College of Opticians of Ontario has released this update:
"In person opticianry services may continue by appointment only. We confirm that as regulated health professionals, opticians may continue to offer services to the public during the shutdown. However, in an effort to curb foot traffic and regulate the flow of persons in public and commercial spaces, the government has directed that optical stores operate on an appointment-only basis for all in person services."
Click here to read the entire update.
According to the Government of Ontario "Provincewide Shutdown" document from December 21st, Regulated Health Professionals are included in businesses that can remain open during the lockdown.
However, it is imperative that all Opticians and those working in dispensaries and offices adhere to guidelines set forth by the Ontario Government and your local Health Unit. Keep in mind, that during this time you are expected to offer services that you may have used during the first wave, like curbside pick-up and "by appointment only" services.
One of the ways you can offer "by appointment only" service is through intake management. For example, you can achieve this by keeping your door locked and when a patient comes to the door you may create an appointment for them at the door and provide them with services if you are not at capacity. (For calculating capacity, please see page 5 of the Provincewide Shutdown document.)
Make sure that you calculate capacity for you dispensary to ensure that you are complying with the recommendation of the Ministry of Health.
You are also welcome to use remote delivery methods at this time where appropriate.
As of today, we have not been mandated to "Emergency-Only" patients, nor have we been mandated to discontinue fitting contact lenses. Using your professional judgement will be paramount in the continuation of contact lens fitting during lockdown. Make sure to adhere to all safety protocols during these services, as you will be within 2 metres of your patient.
We will continue to update all Ontario Opticians on our website, Member's Only Portal and through social media as we receive new information and updates from the Ministry of Health, the Government of Ontario and the College of Opticians of Ontario.
College Of Opticians- COVID-19 Update #24 -
Government of Ontario - Provincewide Shutdown -