COVID-19 Update

by Dougherty Laser Vision

December 2020: DLV is still operating at regular hours.

Dear Valued Patient,

Due to the recent spike of COVID-19 cases, we have taken extra precautions and implemented new protocols to keep you safe in our hands at your time of visit. Effective immediately, all new patients are required to check-in virtually before visiting our clinic in person. What this means is- we will collect demographic information, insurance information,  co-pays, co-insurance payments, your chief complaint, and reason for visit with a virtual concierge specialist over the phone to reduce the patient total appointment time in the office.

Our enhanced safety measures for in-clinic visits include:

  • No mask= no visit. All staff, patients, guests and visitors are required to wear a mask at all times to entry our facilities
  • New outdoor waiting area for patients and guests at all of our locations
  • Guests are required to wait outside or in their vehicles
  • Common high touch areas and surfaces are cleaned hourly- sanitized with bleach or alcohol-based solutions
  • Exam rooms are sanitized before and after each patient
  • All staff and doctors are required to wash their hands before and after your exam
  • All patients are screened prior to coming in for known COVID-19 symptoms
  • Upon arrival, we will also check your temperature with a non-contact infrared thermometer.
  • Safety Officer elected and on site at all times dedicated to ensuring safety and cleaning protocols are adhered to
  • Protective shields are in place to ensure safety while conducting eye tests on equipment

FAQ: COVID-19 and the Eye

Please note that this information is evolving and changing rapidly.  Please check back for updates.

  1. Does COVID-19 affect the eye?  The SARS-COV-2 virus which causes COVID-19 infection can cause conjunctivitis, which is inflammation and redness of the white of the eye.  If you have a red eye, call our office to schedule a telemedicine or physical appointment. If you have red eye, along with fever, cough, shortness of breath, then you are suspicious for COVID-19 at the present time and should contact your primary care doctor or go to the emergency room.
  2. Can you catch or spread COVID-19 through the eye? Yes.  You should avoid touching your eyes when in public as the virus remains active on surfaces as long as several hours, and you may transfer the virus to the surface of your eye and become infected.  If another person infected with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or even talks near you (reportedly less than 6 feet), you can become infected by infected droplets contacting the surface of your eye. You should therefore wear a full-face shield or goggles, in addition to a mask, if you are in close proximity to a known COVID-19 patient.  If you are infected with COVID-19, you may infect someone else if they handle a used tissue or touch a surface contaminated by your tears or other eye.
  3. Can I see my eye doctor for an examination or surgery during the pandemic?  Yes- we are continuing to follow our established patients and evaluate new patients by in- person and virtual online visits.
  4. Why is a virtual check-in helpful for my eye condition? A virtual check-in allows a personalized face-to-face meeting with a clinic technician, while minimizing the risk of COVID-19 exposure, along with travel and wait-time. This check-in can accomplish critical parts of your evaluation, whether you are a new or established patient, including review of your present condition, prior eye and medical history, discussion of diagnoses, treatment plans, and follow-up. Portions of your exam, as dictated by your condition, will require a physical examination in the office at a later date. If your doctor determines that your condition is urgent, you will be scheduled to come into the office soon.
  5. If I have an urgent eye problem that requires me to come into the office, is it safe to do so?  The risk of exposure to COVID-19 or transmitting infection to others must be weighed against the urgency of your eye condition.  If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 infection or have symptoms that are suspicious, you should contact your primary care provider or emergency room before leaving your home and coming into our offices for a physical eye exam.  All patients coming to the office during the pandemic are screened for symptoms of COVID-19 infection. The virus is very susceptible to disinfecting processes which are done meticulously in our offices.