COVID-19 Guidance for Optometrists

“This is certainly a stressful time for all of us and making important decisions day to day can wear you down! I’m grateful that we have the Cleinman family in our corner to help us through this mess.”

– Scott Tomasino, O.D., Tomasino Goerss Vision Source, O’Fallon, MO.

Guidance for Your Team


  • For those of you who are seeing urgent/emergent patients please get familiar with the updated Guidelines on Preparing your Workplaces for COVID-19 from OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) and COVID-19 Regulations.
  • The Families First Corona Virus Act: H.R. 6201.  This federal bill responds to the coronavirus outbreak by providing paid sick leave and free coronavirus testing, expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requiring employers to provide additional protections for healthcare workers.
  • Leverage your vendors for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Match Eyewear Protective Glasses and Rochester Optical Face Shields and N95 Face Masks currently have reasonably priced equipment available for you, your team and patients. 
  • INVISION and Cleinman: Taking Care of Business: Human Resources During COVID-19 (Phase II) Webinar recording (April 10, 2020). Discussing human resource considerations and legalities from now until your practice re-opens.
  • If you haven’t already, join the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). Membership for their online resources is $219 annually and a wise investment for their exceptional tools. They have vast resources that are updated frequently including an entire section on COVID-19 response. You can access their resources here: Coronavirus Resources. Additionally, they have a section on State Law Developments.
  • Get familiar with your State department of labor. States are opening more and more benefits particularly through unemployment benefit and paid leave programs. For example: Massachusetts has a WorkShare program that covers partial unemployment for reduced hours and has a two-week closure program to offset business disruption.
  • The AOA’s State-by-state COVID-19 unemployment resources.
  • FAQ: Employment-Related Issues stemming from COVID-19 by Winston & Strawn, LLP.
  • Understanding the Impact of and Guidance to Navigating Employer Furloughs due to the Coronavirus by Foley & Lardner, LLP.
  • The CARES Act: Keep Workers Paid and Employed ACT.
  • Have honest conversations about the business impact with your team; “I don’t know” is an acceptable position, but focus on the things you DO know. Overall, communication is absolutely critical.
  • Consider ‘work from home’ tasks that staff can handle, for example: answering phones, informing patients of practice updates, accounts receivable; social marketing messaging. Start or update Process Documentation. SweetProcess is a great online tool. Additionally, 15Five is offering support leaders in maintaining high levels of productivity and employee engagement during this unique time, they’re offering free access to 15Five to teams and companies of up to 50 people through June 15. 
  • Brainstorm “down-time development” lists with your team.  What can you do now that will have a short-term return on energy and investment later?
  • Consider “stipend” or furlough, or reduced compensation for staff versus lay-off. Get creative with how you combine PTO with paid-leave options – call us, we can help you with ideas.
  • Seek time reductions from Associate ODs. If they are your employee and make a base, they should be allowed to collect unemployment – check with your State Department of Labor for confirmation or see the Families First Corona Virus Act.
  • Devote excess staff time to the performance of community services…your community will remember.