Recommendations and guidance for consumers and healthcare professionals regarding novel coronavirus 2019 and associated COVID-19 are coming quickly, and these updates are changing day by day.
However, this week has seen tremendous change in how the United States overall is addressing the pandemic with city lockdowns and more business closures and travel restrictions in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, U.S. clinicians have started a petition for the federal government to impose a national quarantine, among other things.
Most eyecare practitioners have been increasing hand washing and in-office disinfection procedures while following social distance recommendations and suggesting patients and staff who are sick to remain at home.
That changed this week when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that doctors and patients postpone routine eye exams.
The California Optometric Association was the first group to issue guidance—early in the week it communicated to its members that it strongly recommended that ODs practicing in California voluntarily suspend nonessential or nonurgent optometry care for the next 14 days.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology followed suit yesterday with its own guidance. It recommends that “all ophthalmologists cease providing any treatment other than urgent or emergent care immediately.”