Virus

The Government of Alberta announced on April 30, 2020 that regulated health care practitioners could begin to re-open for routine care on May 4 as part of the Early Actions of Alberta’s Relaunch Plan.

It is more important than ever to ensure you seek eye care from a licensed professional. Visit our membership roster to find an optician near you.

When planning your visit to an optical practice, please consider the health and safety of yourself and your health care provider by reviewing the guidelines below.

Optical Etiquette

Visiting an Optical during the Pandemic

To keep everyone healthy and safe, please follow these guidelines (also available for download here):

  • Stay home if you have any symptoms of a cold/flu. Alberta Health Guidelines say that you need to self-isolate for 10 days if you are experiencing a cough, sore throat, fever, runny nose, or other cold/flu-like symptoms that are not related to a pre-existing medical condition (examples: asthma, allergies). You can now get tested for COVID-19 if you have any of the above symptoms. Take the online assessment test or call Health Link (811) to discuss testing options.
  • Call ahead and book an appointment whenever possible. The best way to plan your visit is to call ahead and check for availability. To prevent the spread of infection, opticians are currently seeing fewer patients over the course of the day, so that they have time to sanitize between visitors and keep everyone safe. Help facilitate this by calling and booking an appointment, and limiting your time in the optical to only what is necessary.
  • Follow visitation instructions. Each optical practice may have their own instructions about how to proceed, depending on the size of the space, number of staff, and available facilities. There may be limitations on entering including checking your temperature, requiring a mask, waiting for an appointment, etc. Please follow directions and be courteous and respectful of health care workers. They are doing everything in their power to keep you safe.
  • Keep a 2-metre distance and wear a mask if possible. Alberta Health’s recommendations for physical distancing include keeping a 2-metre (6 foot) distance between you and other people. When you are not required to be in close contact with a health care practitioner, keep your distance. If you are able to wear a non-medical mask, this may help protect you and others from the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Some optical dispensaries may require you to wear a mask while you are there. Please respect each optical’s patient requirements.
  • Wash your hands frequently and try not touch surfaces unnecessarily. The best way to prevent the spread of infection is to wash your hands frequently and keep them to yourself. You should try to come to the optical with clean hands, wash or disinfect them when you arrive, and wash or disinfect them again when you’re leaving. While you are in the optical, try not to touch surfaces unless you need to. This will help the opticians keep the space sanitary for everyone.
  • Do not browse. Normally when you visit the optical, you might spend your time before or after an appointment browsing the frames and trying them on. Imagine how many other people might be doing the same, and you will understand why it’s not a good idea to browse for frames right now. If you want to try on a specific frame, ask an optician for help. They will be better able to clean the frames you use to ensure infection control requirements are being met.

For more information and resources, please visit our COVID-19 page for the public.