Headlines 79% Of Surveyed ECPs Are Open for Routine Care And 74% are fully or nearly fully staffed. Published 8 months ago on May 27, 2020 By Deirdre Carroll Share Tweet BEFORE MEMORIAL DAY weekend, INVISION asked the third in our series of COVID-19 Impact Surveys. With much of the country tentatively back in business or close to reopening, we wanted to see how America’s independent eyecare pros are managing this key transition stage. At the time, 79 percent of respondents reported being open for routine care (12 percent never closed), with another 13 percent expecting to reopen within the week. Of the total 118 respondents, only 8 percent had not reopened or lacked immediate plans to do so. Of those same respondents, 53 percent reported having brought their full staff back, and 21 percent had most of their staff back. Only 19 percent of ECPs who answered the survey (and have a staff) had brought back half or less of their staff. Many respondents were proud of the fact that they hadn’t let their business closure affect their staff. Dr. Robert M Easton Jr., OD, FAAO in Oakland Park, FL, reports, “My staff was paid for six weeks while the office was closed; they never lost any money from not working.” John Butler of Eye Consultants of Atlanta in Atlanta, GA, was able to take advantage of government assistance to keep his staff paid. “Never laid anyone off for the six weeks we were closed. We took advantage of the PPP.” Though not all business owners were as lucky, many were excited to invite their staff back as soon as they were able. “Back in March when we moved to urgent/emergency care only, we did unfortunately have to lay off about 20 percent of our staff, furlough 40 percent, and cut pay/hours for 40 percent,” said Elizabeth Elliott of Nittany Eye Associates in State College, PA. “We did bring back all furloughed staff and everyone is back to working normal hours with normal wages.” Advertisement Interestingly, often some staff members were not so eager to return. “Everyone was offered their jobs back; one part-time employee left as part of a planned departure to start schooling and one full-time employee found a new job during our four-week furlough. So, everyone’s back, but we are reduced compared to pre-COVID,” said Jen Heller of Pend Oreille Vision Care in Sandpoint, ID. “One staff member was laid off and moved out of the area and one staff member resigned when we reopened,” said Dr. Victoria Mar of Eye Care at Rhodes Ranch, Las Vegas, NV. Kim Hilgers at Monson Eyecare Center in Owatonna, MN, stated, “A few said that they didn’t feel safe and are not back yet.” That was a sentiment also shared by Susan Halstead of Family Vision Care Center in Saratoga Springs, NY, who had one staff member refuse to return. For those who reopened, it was often a celebratory affair. “Next week we’re doing a potluck dinner with a special chocolate cake dessert,” said Missy Dunn of Brisbane Eyecare in Spokane Valley, WA. “We will celebrate the end of the first week with a beer or prosecco toast,” added Dr. Halstead of Family Vision Care Center. A triumphant alcoholic beverage was a common refrain with everything from tequila, margaritas, wine and even a Corona beer getting name-checked. Others celebrated their staff and patients in more visible ways. Returning to work called for “a BIG distance huddle,” according to Dr. Rosiland Hursh of Eye to Eye Clinic Wilsonville in Wilsonville, OR. Pam Peters at Midwest Eye in Downers Grove, IL, meanwhile, “welcomed staff with breakfast and flowers around the office” and “painted a Welcome sign for our patients, hoping to generate the warmth of our office even with faces masked.” And Selena Jachens of Urban Eyecare & Eyewear in West Des Moines, IA, reported, “We cheered! Our patients have been very supportive during our temporary closure and (for the most part) have cooperated with our new protocols. Our team had a nice lunch together while distancing in our office.” Advertisement But let’s not let this revelry overshadow the fact that most respondents, though happy to be back, are physically and mentally exhausted from the additional sanitation protocols, PPE and sheer number of patients who are anxious to get back in their doors. More on that this week in our ongoing coverage from our third COVID-19 Impact Survey. Related Topics:COVID-19 click to Comment(Comment) Up Next More Than 95% Of Eyecare Businesses Telling Staff To Wear Masks as They Reopen Don't Miss Video: Purported Details of ‘Apple Glass’ Product Leaked Deirdre Carroll Having built a career in service journalism, Dee has been covering the eyecare industry for over a decade. As editor-in-chief of INVISION Magazine, she is passionate about telling independent ECPs stories and can be reached directly at [email protected] Advertisement SPONSORED VIDEO SPONSORED BY TOPCON HEALTHCARE Perform Refraction from Anywhere with RDx Now more than ever, you need to grow your practice beyond your physical location and deliver quality eye exams from virtually anywhere. Topcon RDx® is an innovative ocular telehealth platform that allows you to connect to your office remotely and conduct comprehensive eye exams, without sacrificing the quality care you provide. You may like ReFocus Eye Health Partners with Eye Center of Southern Connecticut DrChrono Expands Leadership Team and Celebrates Growth With Appointment of New SVP of Engineering and SVP of Revenue Pacific Vision Surgery Center Opens Doors to Bay Area Community Promoted Headlines Get More with Essilor Essilor 360° SUPPORT. 365 DAYS A YEAR. Essilor Perform Refraction from Anywhere with RDx Topcon Advertisement Latest Trending Videos Press Releases5 hours ago ReFocus Eye Health Partners with Eye Center of Southern Connecticut Press Releases1 day ago DrChrono Expands Leadership Team and Celebrates Growth With Appointment of New SVP of Engineering and SVP of Revenue Press Releases1 day ago Pacific Vision Surgery Center Opens Doors to Bay Area Community Headlines1 day ago Massachusetts ODs Win Right to Treat Glaucoma Columns1 day ago 2021 Is a New Year… Let’s Make Your Marketing New, Too! America's Finest 2019 Entries2 weeks ago America’s Finest: Get Your Contest Entry in Great Shape America's Finest 2019 Entries2 weeks ago America’s Finest: Before You Start America's Finest 2019 Entries2 weeks ago America’s Finest: Basic Info and Stats America's Finest 2019 Entries2 weeks ago America’s Finest: You Gotta Stand Out from the Crowd America's Finest 2019 Entries2 weeks ago America’s Finest: Photos Really Are Worth at Least a Thousand Words Sponsored Content2 days ago Get More with Essilor Sponsored Content1 month ago Perform Refraction from Anywhere with RDx Headlines2 months ago Video: Florida Man Invents Robot to Place Contact Lenses Headlines2 months ago Video: Some Retailers Board Up Due to Election Unrest Fears Headlines3 months ago Video: Car Crashes Into Optometry Office; 4 Taken to Hospital Advertisement Advertisement SubscribeBULLETINS Get the most important news and business ideas for eyecare professionals every weekday from INVISION. Facebook Most Popular Photo Gallery1 week ago These 14 Optical Conversation Pieces Leave a Lasting Impression Photo Gallery4 days ago 12 Images That Show Why Zionsville Eyecare in Zionsville, IN, Was Named One of America’s Finest Optical Retailers Press Releases1 week ago Hilco Vision Acquires M&S Technologies Sponsored Content2 days ago Get More with Essilor Press Releases3 days ago EnChroma Names Vision Industry Veteran Erik Ritchie as CEO Tools and Equipment1 week ago Patients Less Likely to Cancel Appointments Due to COVID Now and More of What You Need to Know for January Products1 week ago ECPs Share their Best-Selling Collections for November 2020 Sponsored Content4 days ago 360° SUPPORT. 365 DAYS A YEAR.