April 29, 2020
Most respondents to the seventh wave of the Jobson Optical Research coronavirus survey said they were fairly optimistic about reopening. More than 41 percent said they expected to be up and running immediately upon being able to reopen, and 30 percent said they expected to be so within a week.
Most expect to make some changes to patient flow and practice cleaning processes. The most common responses to making adjustments in clinical procedures that require close contact are that 85 percent of respondents anticipate installing breath shields on their slit lamps and 61 percent anticipate asking patients to insert their own contact lenses.
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Gloves and masks for most employees will likely be required. About three-quarters of respondents said that they anticipate requiring patients to wear masks.
In addition, respondents expect to make adjustments to exam procedures that typically require close contact and to optical dispensary protocols.
Of the 59 percent of respondents who said that they were owners, 83 percent have applied for the CARES Act, and, of those, 49 percent have been approved for support.
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Fewer than one-in-four respondents said that their practice could survive at least another three months if they were not permitted to open this week. Thirty-four percent said they could hold on another 1-2 months, while 30 percent said they could manage another 3-4 weeks. Almost 13 percent said their business could survive another 1-2 more weeks.
This seventh wave of the survey saw a slight uptick in the percentage of respondents who are currently employed: 26 percent compared to less than 24 percent in the sixth survey.
Nearly three-quarters of the respondents said the primary area where they could use help is with guidance on how to reopen.
In this wave, 58 percent of respondents said they are working on a written reopening plan, up from 43 percent in wave six and 31 percent in wave five.
Many respondents seem wary of traveling to industry events and meetings in the near future.