Reopening for Routine Eye Care

Phase One Guidance for Nevada Optometrists

Phase One - Nevada's Roadmap to Recovery

Phase One - Requirements for Individuals

Phase One - Requirements for Businesses and Employers

Phase One - Social Distancing and Sanitation Practices in Businesses

Phase One - Local Empowerment

AOA Practice Reopening Guidance

Reopen Eyecare

The NOA and the AOA support the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reopening guidance issued on
April 19, 2020. 

The AOA has confirmed with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials that the agency's March 17 recommendation to postpone routine eye care is no longer in effect, and that CMS's specific guidance on reopening facilities to provide nonemergent and non-COVID-19 health care is in force.

While Optometrists and Optometric Practices are essential healthcare providers and were not ordered to close, many chose to scale back and follow the CDC guidelines to see only urgent/emergent patients. 

Using the CMS framework, the NOA has crafted a Phase 1 Guidance for Nevada Optometrists during the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Nevada's Roadmap to Recovery - Phase 1

On May 8, 2020, Governor Steve Sisolak released the Roadmap to Recovery for Nevada - Phase 1 outlining statewide standards, guidelines and protocols for individuals, employers and businesses through Phase 1, as developed by the Local Empowerment Advisory Panel (LEAP). The guidelines address those aspects of daily life in Nevada for which restrictions remain appropriate due to COVID-19.

Phase One Statewide Standards: Individuals

  • Face Coverings are strongly encouraged in public and when around persons from other households.

  • All Nevadans are encouraged to continue Staying At Home and limit trips outside of their homes as much as practicable to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

  • All Vulnerable Individuals should continue to shelter in place. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical, they could carry the virus back home. Precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable residents. 

  • Visits to Senior Living Facilities, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and hospitals should continue to be prohibited. 

  • If tested positive for COVID-19, an individual must Quarantine and stay at home for two weeks.

  • If determined to be a Contact of an Individual who tested positive for COVID-19, an individual must quarantine and stay at home for two weeks, or until a negative test result has been received. 

  • Maintain at least Six Feet of Social Distancing per person for non-household members at all times. 

  • Face Coverings are strongly encouraged when in public and when around persons from other households. 

  • Nevadans must continue to Limit Public & Private Gatherings to 10 or fewer people, unless individuals live in the same household.

  • Avoid Non-Essential Travel and adhere to self-quarantine and monitor health for 14 days after arriving or returning to Nevada.

  • Unsafe Homes: Individuals whose homes/residences are unsafe or become unsafe, such as victims of domestic violence, are expressly permitted and urged to leave their homes and stay at a safe alternative location.

Phase One Standards: Requirements for Businesses & Employers

All essential and non-essential businesses opening or continuing operations in Phase One must adopt measures promulgated by the Nevada State Occupational Safety and Health Administration (NV OSHA) to minimize the risk of spread of COVID-19, including social distancing and sanitation measures, and abide by all other guidance promulgated pursuant to the Phase One directive. 

All employers shall require employees who interact with the public to wear Face Coverings, to the maximum extent practicable 

All businesses and employers are encouraged to adopt and/or take the following actions:

  • Businesses should encourage customers to wear Face Coverings.

  • Continue to encourage Telework, whenever possible and feasible with business operations.

  • If possible, have employees Return to Work in Phases.

  • Close Common Areas where personnel are likely to congregate and interact, or enforce strict social distancing protocols. 

  • Follow guidance from the Nevada Labor Commissioner regarding sick leave policies.

  • Strongly consider Special Accommodations for employees who are members of a vulnerable population.

  • Consider encouraging employees to do a Self-Assessment each day in order to check if they have any COVID-19 type symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath).

  • Remind employees to Stay Home When Sick, use cough and sneeze etiquette, and practice hand hygiene. 

  • Frequently perform enhanced Environmental Cleaning of commonly touched surfaces.

Social Distancing & Sanitation Practices in Businesses
All businesses should consider proactive measures to help protect staff and customers, including but not limited to:

  • Implementing separate operating hours for the elderly and vulnerable customers.

  • Designating with signage, tape, or by other means, six feet of spacing for employees, customers, clients, or members to maintain appropriate distance.

  • Having hand sanitizer, and sanitizing products, readily available for employees and customers.

Phase One: Local Empowerment

Local Government and businesses can impose stricter social distancing requirements than the statewide standards 

In line with the federally supported, state managed and locally executed response and recovery plan, County Governments are empowered to tailor specific restrictions on business and public life, as long as those restrictions do not go below the strict standards the state issues in the Phase 1 reopening standards. 

Businesses are empowered to impose stricter social distancing requirements than the statewide standards, as they deem necessary or appropriate. 

Local governments are Empowered to Enforce the provisions of this Directive, including the intent, and are strongly encouraged to consult the guidance developed by the Local Empowerment Advisory Panel (LEAP). 

AOA COVID-19 Resources Webinar V: Practice Reopening Guidance

Watch the previously recorded #AskAOA Webinar: How to Prepare to Re-Activate Optometry Practices from April 29, 2020 and download the presentation slides and the AOA practice reactivation guide.

Reopen Eyecare

Reopen Eyecare is a new website featuring content specially curated by a task force of vision community leaders and sponsored by The Vision Council, to serve as a comprehensive resource to help eyecare providers navigate the complex journey from shutdown back to "new normal" business conditions.