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. Please see below for some important information about services offered at our clinic, and what we’re doing to keep you and our team safe.
Virtual Telehealth Visits
Minnesota Eye Consultants offers virtual visits with select providers. In order to utilize this video chat option, you will need a computer, smartphone or tablet WITH a camera AND a microphone. (Please be aware that these are billable encounters just as if you had come into the office.)
Optimal candidates for TeleHealth appointments are:
- Non-emergent needs, such as watery or itchy eyes.
- Lesion evaluations and oculoplastic post-surgical visits.
- Dry Eye follow-up appointments.
To schedule your virtual appointment, simply call us at (952) 888-5800 and request a virtual telehealth visit.
To keep our patients and staff safe, Minnesota Eye Consultants has instituted the following procedures to manage office visits:
- Masking – To ensure the safety of every patient, you’re required to wear a mask or face covering at all times while in our facilities – whether you’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 or not. The CDC advises that even vaccinated people should continue to wear masks when in hospitals, clinics, and other health care settings.
- Clinic Visits – We are seeing clinic patients in our offices. Please call to schedule your upcoming visit.
- Screening – All patients and staff are screened before entry to our clinics. Anyone with a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19, should reschedule their appointment
- 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.
- 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.
With increased safety protocols, our physicians’ surgical schedules are open as normal.
We strongly recommend that patients do not receive a COVID-19 vaccination within 3 days before or after surgery due to the potential of low-grade fever. If you have questions, please contact our nursing team 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