Eye care during COVID-19

To keep our patients and personnel safe during the pandemic, we have implemented new procedures to limit the risk of infection. Please review the following procedures before making an appointment. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Scheduling your appointment

When you call to make an appointment, or after you book online, staff will ask you several screening questions to determine your risk of exposure to COVID-19. It's important to answer these questions honestly to protect yourself and others in the clinic.

If your answers indicate that you are at a high risk for COVID-19 exposure:

  • You will be referred to your family doctor or Public Health.
  • You will be asked to reschedule your appointment.

If your answers indicate that you are at a low risk for COVID-19 exposure:

  • Staff will schedule your appointment and give you further instructions (see Preparing for your appointment). We ask that you call to reschedule if you develop COVID-19 symptoms prior to your appointment.
  • A clinician may contact you before your appointment to ask you some questions about your eyes and medical history.
  • Before your appointment, you may receive a reminder phone call or text message. Staff will repeat the screening questions to ensure you are still at a low risk for COVID-19 exposure.

     

Preparing for your appointment

Before your appointment, please review these requirements:

1. All patients and their essential support persons are required to wear a mask or cloth face covering before being permitted to enter the clinic. These must be worn at all times inside the clinic. The only exceptions are the following:

  • Children under the age of 2
  • Anyone unable to remove their mask without help
  • Anyone without a medical condition or anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious

If you arrive without a mask, your appointment may need to be rescheduled 

2. Only patients can enter the clinic.

  • Children or those in need of assistance may be accompanied by a maximum of one essential support person.

     

Arriving for your appointment

Before you enter the clinic, staff will once again ask you (and your essential support person, if applicable) several screening questions to determine your risk of exposure to COVID-19, as your health status may have changed since you confirmed your appointment. It's important to answer these questions honestly to protect yourself and others in the clinic.

If your answers indicate that you are at a high risk for COVID-19 exposure:

  • You will not be permitted in the clinic
  • You will be asked to reschedule your appointment
  • If your case is urgent, other arrangements will be made for your care
  • You will be referred to your family physician or Public Health

If your answers indicate that you are at a low risk for COVID-19 exposure:

  • You will be allowed to enter the clinic
  • You are asked to go directly to the check-in area, where you will be greeted by a clinician or intern and taken to the examination room

     

How we're reducing the risk of infection

The health and safety of patients and clinic personnel is a top priority. The clinic is following all required infection prevention and control measures set out by Public Health and other recognized authorities and will adjust its approach as required, as new evidence and requirements become available.

In the Clinic:

  • Air purifiers in patient treatment rooms and other high-risk/high-density areas throughout the Clinic*
  • N95/KN95 masks for Clinic personnel based on new Canadian Public Health guidelines*
  • Patients presenting to the Clinic are encouraged to use at least a level 2 surgical mask*
  • Temporary restriction of in-person care of children and adults who cannot wear masks*
  • Fewer waiting room chairs, spread apart to maintain physical distancing
  • Fabric-covered chairs replaced by ones that can be more easily cleaned and disinfected
  • Patient traffic flows in one direction (when possible)
  • Signage regarding respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene
  • Hand sanitizers are located at the entrances / exits and service desks
  • All clinic personnel wear personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • COVID-19 patient screening
  • All patients and any accompanying essential persons are required to wear a mask / face covering
  • Common areas are cleaned / disinfected following each wave of patients (approximately 5-6 times per day) and more frequently as required
  • Examination rooms are cleaned / disinfected at the beginning of each day, between patients, and at the end of the day

In Optical Services:

  • Service offered by appointment only
  • Frames and surfaces are disinfected after each patient

*new safety measures as of January 2022 to complement our existing infection prevention and control measures.

 

Helpful links

COVID-19 and Your Eye Health - Fighting Blindness Canada

Eye Health During COVID-19 - American Academic of Ophthalmology

Health Canada COVID-19 information

Coronavirus Disease 2019 - Public Health Ontario

COVID-19 Information - University of Waterloo

2019 Novel Coronavirus - Region of Waterloo Public Health