We hope everyone has stayed safe during this unprecedented pandemic. We wanted to communicate to you our plan to slowly start to reopen our practice. We’ve been offering emergency care for urgent medical needs, along with curbside service for contact lens and glasses pick-up. We will continue those services and will be re-opening Wednesday, May 6 to begin offering other essential care.
We will begin seeing patients with medical conditions that need timely evaluation, such as glaucoma, diabetes, and macular degeneration. We will also see patients that are having significant problems with glasses (including broken glasses) and contacts, such as blurred vision, discomfort, headaches, etc. Effective immediately, we are now cleared to resume routine eyecare as well. Please be patient as the volume of visits that we can see will be limited, based on safe social distancing practices.
The safety of our patients and staff is our number one concern, and we’re taking every precaution to ensure as safe of an environment inside our office as possible. There will be a number of requirements that most of you have already seen with visits to other businesses and services. Below is a list of those requirements.
What you can expect from us: our “new” normal
We would like to reassure you that we are continuing to exceed our already-ramped up infection control precautions as outlined by the CDC to further help to prevent the spread of this virus and maintain a safe environment for you and our staff. These additional precautions include the following:
- Our office hours will be changed slightly during this transition time. The office will be open longer hours, so we can accommodate more patients while still observing social distancing.
- We’ve suspended two-doctor days from the schedule. Appointments will be limited to only one doctor each day and a smaller staff to respect social distancing until further notice. Once we begin to stage/add in more routine services, we expect the wait will shorten.
- We’ve minimized the amount that the waiting room is actually used by the public so as to keep only a few patients (or drivers) there at a time, if at all.
- Patients scheduled to see the doctor will be called the day before their appointment to take as much history, reason for visit, etc.as possible to reduce their time in the office during the exam.
- Only the scheduled patient will be allowed in the exam room unless needing assistance from a guardian or caregiver. Please no additional family members.
- For all patients with exams or seeking other services, please call the office when you arrive and wait in your vehicle until given permission to enter. One of our staff will greet you at the door.
- Regardless of the reason, every patient entering our offices will need to have a face mask or cover. Please plan to provide your own. During your exam with Dr. Rioux or Dr. Stoliker, expect them to be wearing their mask and other facial and/or hand coverings as they feel is necessary. This, too, is to protect you.
- Upon entering, your temperature will be taken, and you will be asked a series of screening questions. If you have a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above, you will be asked to reschedule or not be allowed to enter if you are planning to pick something up.
- Once cleared by the screener, patients will be asked to perform hand hygiene with hot water and soap or gel.
- We ask that any forms that need to be signed be done electronically, and we will limit paper use in the office.
- We welcome you to have a personalized experience in our optical area. Expect that in your encounter with one of our trusted opticians, it is the optician who will handle all glasses to assist you with your decision, and expect our staff to thoroughly sanitize every frame between every encounter.
We would like to reassure all patients that if this experience has taught us anything, it is that our loyal patients are the lifeblood of our practice. Because of this devout relationship, you should expect nothing less than an enhanced, safe experience as you continue to visit us. Please note that although some may consider the following policies to be tedious, we feel that they are essential to maintaining your safety and the safety of our staff as a whole.
We look forward to seeing all of you back as soon as possible. Please be aware that initially there may be a higher volume of patient inquiries by phone, and we’ll return calls as soon as we can. Thank you for trusting us to be your providers of Optometric eyecare services. It is a trust that we take very seriously.
Valley Eye Care Associates Team
Timothy Rioux OD
Brent Stoliker OD