June 2nd, 2020
Dear residents of St. Marys and surrounding area,
We are so excited to be gradually restarting non-urgent eye care on Thursday, June 4th! In order to responsibly offer our services, the Chief Medical Officer has required we do so in accordance with the College of Optometrists’ of Ontario “Return to Work” Guidelines, as well as the Ministry of Health’s COVID Operational Requirements for Health Sector Restart.
What does all that mean exactly? It means, your visit with us during COVID is going to be VERY DIFFERENT than any past experience you’ve had at our clinic.
Some of the things you can expect are:
- • If you call in for an inquiry you are likely to get the answering machine! Please listen carefully and follow the instructions
- • We will be asking a lot of questions if we determine you need an appointment, as we now have very specific booking times and appointment lengths (in order to allow for patient flow that complies with physical distancing requirements)
- • It may take longer to get an appointment with your optometrist (due to having fewer doctors onsite, fewer staff on site, fewer available appointment spots and priority scheduling)
- • You will be offered a remote appointment whenever appropriate
- • Expect to see a line up at our front door, and please maintain physical distancing according to ground and floor markings while you are on premises
- • You will not be able to receive any service just by walking in. For the temporary future every service (including help from our lab staff) is by appointment only.
- • The front door may be locked when you arrive, which means the building is at capacity to allow for physical distancing
- • If you arrive too early for your appointment you may be asked to wait outside or in your car
- • You must be screened for covid symptoms upon arrival, and be negative in order to enter the office
- • You must wear a mask for the entire time you are in our office
- • You are required to sanitize your hands upon entry to the clinic
- • You will be asked to come alone. Only caregivers, translators, and guardians travelling with minors are allowed in addition to the person with the scheduled appointment, AND any traveler must also pass a verbal COVID screening, wear a mask and sanitize hands
- • There will be fewer people (staff and patients) in office at one time
- • Frequent sterilization and disinfection of surfaces, tools and devices will be happening all over the office and our protocols will be posted for reference
- • Our staff will be in uniform and personal protective equipment
- • We will do as many procedures as we can contactless, or in a way that can reduce your time in our office (which means you may be asked for information over the phone by a staff member or optometrist)
- • We will not be able to submit to insurance on your behalf but receipts will be provided so you may do so yourself
- • We will prefit your new frame and take a full payment while you are at our office in person so that you can do a “office porch pick” minimizing the need for an in-person encounter again
- • You will see HEPA filtration units in areas that are poorly ventilated
- • You will see many plexiglass barriers for almost all office procedures that require us to be face to face and closer than 2 meters
- • You will be asked to keep conversation to a minimum and not speak at all during exam procedures where a staff member or optometrist is face-to-face with you
- • You may be asked to fill out paper work and bring it with you. This should be done ahead of time to reduce the time you spend in our office, and to reduce the time needed with the optometrist
Many of these new protocols are mandatory, and are required for us to remain in compliance with the Ministry of Health and College of Optometrists’ of Ontario guidelines.
The protocols may be inconvenient and uncomfortable but they are necessary in order to keep staff, optometrists and patrons healthy.
We appreciate your understanding and patience during this unprecedented time.
We wish we could make exceptions when people give us what sound like acceptable reasons for not complying with our new protocols, but we simply can’t!
If you prefer to wait for your routine eye wellness check up until all of these new measures are lifted, please feel free to post pone your regularly schedule exam. But, if you have any concerns about your eyes or vision, please do call us! We are here to help!
Thank You for trusting us with your eye care and we look forward to caring for our community again!
Dr. Shannon Glitz, Dr. Bruce Andrews, Dr. Nestor Bayona, Dr. Felicia Yong, & staff of Lifetime Vision Care