COVID-19 Letter

Dear Patients and families,

Due to recent COVID19 (coronavirus) events, we are updating our community regarding our hygiene measures and procedures, which are in accordance with the latest CDC guidelines:

Appointments

  • For the safety of patients and our staff, all of our patient-facing staff are wearing face masks, and we are asking patients to bring a cloth or paper mask to wear when they enter our office. If patients do not have their own masks, we will provide a cloth mask to be worn during the encounter. Since all healthcare providers are finding it difficult to purchase both paper and cloth masks, after the encounter we will collect your mask so that we can launder and sanitize it to re-use it in subsequent days.
  • In accordance with the CDC Public Health Reminder, we will be postponing routine eye exams and elective surgeries and procedures. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/healthcare-facilities/index.html We are adhering to these restrictions to help ‘flatten the curve’ and to eliminate our surgical supply usage so that hospitals treating critically ill patients will be able to access the supplies they need. We will resume elective surgery and routine eye care once the CDC lifts these restrictions.
  • We continue to be available for patients with urgent and emergent eye conditions. Our doctors are reviewing their upcoming schedules to determine which patients fit this criteria. Once these reviews are complete, we may call you to inform you that your exam will be postponed or moved to a different date, time and/or location. If you have an urgent or emergent eye care need, want guidance on whether you should be seen or have a question about an existing appointment, please call our office at 402.552.2020.
  • Until further notice, all of our patient encounters will be performed at 4353 Dodge. We have temporarily closed our offices at 715 Harmony (Council Bluffs), 13500 California, 7202 Giles and 18111 Q. Our 4353 Dodge hours will be Monday-Friday, 8:00-5:00. We will not be offering Saturday hours at this time.
  • If you have ordered contact lenses or eyeglasses but need to pick them up, those items are now located at our office at 4353 Dodge. Please call 402.552.2850 to arrange a time to pick them up, or we can mail them at no charge to you.
  • We understand that patients continue to need contact lenses, and they can be re-ordered by phone at 402.552.2811 or on our website. If your contact lens prescription is expiring, please call us for guidance. We will ship those contact lenses to you at no cost.
  • Until the CDC restrictions are lifted, we will not be initiating new orders for eyeglasses in order to reduce the risk of infection transmission during the selection and sales process.
  • We are screening patients at our front door at 4353 Dodge to determine if (a) they have or have had COVID-like symptoms, (b) they have had direct contact with someone with COVID19 symptoms or diagnosis, or (c) have traveled to an area with a local outbreak of COVID19 recently.
  • We are asking drivers and guests of patients to remain in their cars unless the patient is a minor or needs assistance. This will allow us to maintain appropriate social distancing in our lobby. When our patient counts are higher, we may ask patients to remain in their cars until we are ready to see them in order to reduce lobby congestion.
  • If you are sick with a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, we ask that you reschedule your appointment for no sooner than 14 days.
  • If you have a cough and sore throat, or difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, please reschedule your appointment for no sooner than 14 days.
  • If you or anyone in your household have traveled in the past 14 days,  or have been exposed in your community, you are likely subject to guidance issued by the CDC and local public health departments. If you have an urgent or emergent eye condition, please call us at 402.552.2020 and we’ll consult with a doctor regarding whether you need to be seen under a special protocol.

For most people, the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the cold or flu and may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure.  While the virus is mild for most people, it can lead to severe illness for those who are immunosuppressed or with underlying medical conditions.  In ophthalmology and optometry, we treat a high volume of patients who are elderly and may be at greater risk.  Consequently, we ask that you keep this in mind and notify us if you have a fever or the above respiratory symptoms.  Patients with non-emergent eye conditions cannot be seen until the CDC restrictions are lifted.

We will continue to place our highest priority on the health and safety of our patients, employees, and doctors.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 402.552.2020. 

Hygiene

Good personal hygiene is one thing you, and all of us can do to help prevent further spread of the coronavirus and other viruses that pose a danger (such as the flu).  Here are some measures you can take to practice the best personal hygiene when visiting our offices:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before entering the practice. If you are unable to wash your hands,  carry hand sanitizer or use sanitizer available at the check-in desk.
  • Refrain from touching your face throughout the day.
  • Keep your hands clean. Do not shake hands with others, and keep your hands to yourself as much as possible.
  • If you have a cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with the crease of your elbow. Minimize the risk of spreading the virus by not contaminating your hands in this process and not releasing germs into the air.
  • Maintain social distancing by keeping 3 feet distance between yourself and others, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing, and may have a fever. If you are too close, you may breathe in the virus.

For the most authoritative, up-to-date information on the coronavirus, please visit:

U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Coronavirus Page

World Health Organization (WHO) Coronavirus Page