An Update on COVID-19 from Minnesota Eye Consultants
Minnesota Eye Consultants is working diligently with our physicians and staff to mitigate the ongoing impact of the coronavirus on our patients, teams, and facilities. We’re closely following the latest guidance from the CDC, Minnesota Department of Health and the American Academy of Ophthalmology to manage how to continue to provide the highest quality eye care to our patients. The State of Minnesota has lifted some of the restrictions on medical practices and we are excited to welcome back more patients and staff in the safest way possible.
To keep our patients and staff safe, Minnesota Eye Consultants has instituted the following procedures to manage office visits:
- Clinic Visits – We are seeing clinic patients in our offices. Please call to schedule your upcoming visit.
- Screening – All patients and staff are screened with temperature readings before entry to our clinics. Anyone with a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19, should reschedule their appointment.
- Remote Check-In – Upon arriving at our clinic, all patients are asked to remain in their cars and call 952-567-6080. Our front desk will then check patients in for their appointment remotely. Our team will call each patient to enter the building when an exam room is ready. This will help us minimize congregation in our waiting areas. We are asking patients to arrive at least 15 minutes before their scheduled appointments. Keep in mind we are unable to check anyone in more than 30 minutes before their scheduled appointment time.
- Limiting Visitors – Guests are restricted from accompanying patients inside the clinic to their appointment unless required for a legal (i.e. parent/guardian) or medical (i.e. mobility) reason. Guests are encouraged to wait in their vehicles.
- Masking – To keep our patients safe, all clinic staff are wearing either surgical or alternative facemasks, as described by the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health. To keep our staff safe, patients are required to wear alternative facemasks in the clinic, for the entire duration of their appointment. For more information on making a homemade facemask, please CLICK HERE.
- Social Distancing – Our waiting rooms have been arranged to accommodate social distancing guidelines. We ask that patients and visitors follow social distancing recommendations, whenever possible, in our facilities.
- Environment – Common areas are cleaned routinely, and patient care areas and equipment are disinfected between each patient.
- Hand Hygiene – All patients, visitors, and staff are encouraged to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer frequently, with particular attention before and after touching/adjusting a face mask or after touching any potentially contaminated surface.
In adherence to Governor Walz’s executive order, Minnesota Eye Laser and Surgery Centers will be performing all scheduled urgent and elective surgeries effective May 18, 2020. Surgery schedulers are reaching out to patients, but if you have not yet been contacted about your scheduled surgery, please call us at 952-888-5800.
COVID-19 in Ophthalmology
A recent article published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology noted that several reports suggest that COVID-19 can cause conjunctivitis (commonly known as “pink eye”). Although not as common of a symptom as fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, this is something our scheduling team will take into consideration.
Keeping Our Community Safe
The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may also be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a contaminated surface or object and then touching their mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
Here are a few tips to protect yourself from this respiratory illness:
- Avoid close contact with people. Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet whenever possible.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
As our community continues to rally together in the face of this unprecedented global health crisis, we thank you for your patience and apologize in advance for any inconvenience it may cause. We will continue to provide updates as new information is made available. Please contact us at (952) 888-5800 if you have questions or concerns.
- CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- Minnesota Department of Health – https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html
- American Academy of Ophthalmology (for patients) – https://www.aao.org/eye-health/coronavirus
- American Academy of Ophthalmology (for providers) – https://www.aao.org/headline/alert-important-coronavirus-context