Updates on COVID-19 from Northwest Eye
Northwest Eye continues to work diligently with our physicians and staff to minimize the impact of the coronavirus for our patients, teams, and facilities. We’re closely following the latest updates from the CDC, Minnesota Department of Health, and America Academy of Ophthalmology to continue providing 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.
Please note: 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. Additionally, we are only allowing patients plus one guest at each appointment. Please do not bring siblings or additional family members.
While we have increased safety protocols, our physicians have resumed their regular surgical schedule and are accepting all surgical patients, including urgent and elective surgeries. If you need to schedule your surgery, please call us at 763-416-7600.
We are seeing patients in our clinics. To keep our patients and staff safe, Northwest Eye has instituted the following procedures to manage in-office visits:
Clinic Visits – We are seeing patients in our offices. As appropriate, teleophthalmology is available for patients to connect with their eyecare providers. Please contact us at 763-416-7600.
- Masking – 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.
- Screening – All patients and staff are being 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 generally restricted from accompanying patients inside the clinic to their appointment. We will, however, allow one guest for those who require someone to attend the visit for a legal (i.e. parent/guardian) or medical (i.e. mobility) reason. Otherwise, guests are encouraged to wait in their vehicles. Please do not bring siblings to pediatric eye care appointments.
- Social Distancing – Our waiting rooms have been arranged to accommodate social distancing recommendations; We ask that patients and visitors follow social distancing guidelines, 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.
We continue offering virtual teleophthalmology visits. To learn more about virtual visits, please CLICK HERE or schedule by calling call us at 763-416-7600. Please be aware that these are billable encounters just as if you had come into the office.
Our Northwest Eyewear Optical Departments are open at all locations. Although not required, we are still encouraging patients to schedule an appointment with our Certified Opticians when browsing and purchasing eyeglasses. If we reach our maximum occupancy in the optical area, we will direct walk-in patients and customers to a waiting area until we have available space. We continue to maintain the same safety standards of disinfecting all touch surfaces, including frame and sunglass inventory. We look forward to assisting you and your family!
Patients can order contacts online found here: https://northwest-eye.myeyestore.com/
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.
More about COVID-19 from the CDC
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 also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Here are a few tips to protect yourself from this respiratory illness:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth 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 we all band together to work through 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 update this page as new information emerges, but for additional information, please call us at 763-416-7600.