COVID-19 Information for Patients

Visiting an Optical Store
What can I expect when I visit an optical store during the COVID-19 pandemic?

If you are visiting an optical store, you can expect your optician to implement measures to keep you safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19. All Registered Opticians are required to follow guidelines from public health authorities such as the Ministry of Health, as well as the College’s COVID-19 Practice Guidelines. These guidelines include a requirement to engage in self-screening and monitoring and maintain standards around cleaning and disinfection. Your optician may also ask you screening questions to assess your risk of COVID-19 infection or implement other health and safety measures that they believe to be necessary in their practice environment. 

Are masks required in optical stores?
The Ontario Government has now lifted the requirement for masks in all health care settings. Optical stores are permitted, but not required, to set their own policies requiring masks for opticians, staff and/or patients. Different stores may have different policies relating to mask requirements, and your optician may ask you to wear a mask in the store. If you have specific needs or questions about a store’s policy relating to masks, you are encouraged to contact the store ahead of your visit. 

What if I cannot wear a mask?
If an optical store has a policy requiring masks, they are required to offer reasonable accommodations to individuals who are unable to wear a mask due to a disability or other recognized exemption. It is important to remember that opticians are required to take the safety of other staff and patients into account. As a result, in order to accommodate you, your optician may ask you to visit the store at a different time (e.g. when other patients won’t be present), or they may offer alternatives to an in-person visit (e.g. telephone or video call, direct delivery or curbside pickup). If you have specific needs or questions about a store’s mask policy and available accommodations, you are encouraged to contact the store directly ahead of your visit.

Other ways to access opticianry services

Some opticians may be offering services via remote practice (e.g. telephone, email, or video conference). Not all services may be available remotely, as some opticianry services continue to require an in-person visit. It is up to the optician to determine, in their professional judgment, whether a particular service can be offered via remote practice. Contact your optician to find out what services are available.    

Additional resources 

The following resources have been developed by the College, the Government of Ontario and/or other public health authorities:

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