Novel coronavirus 2019 and associated COVID-19 concerns have prompted large-gathering cancellations and social distancing. Plus, travel is severely restricted and some cites are on lockdown—and ODs have been urged to see only emergency patients.
Vision Expo East, one of the largest eyecare meetings, is no longer taking place next week in New York City. Other smaller meetings have been cancelled as well. At this time the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) annual meeting, Optometry’s Meeting, is still scheduled for late June; however, that decision could change in the coming weeks.
ODs still need their continuing education (CE) credits to maintain licensure, and many state boards of optometry limit (or prohibit) the number of online CE hours for licensure.
To that end, the Association of Regulatory Boards in Optometry (ARBO) has modified its guidelines on Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE)-approved CE.
In-person to online CE
According to an ARBO statement, planners of previoulsy scheduled live CE activities are able to continue to offer their already COPE-approved CE if the courses are presented as online interactive distance learning.
This means that attendees must be able to have immediate live interaction with the course instructor, such as asking questions.