Coronavirus (COVID-19) – what optometrists need to know
The World Health Organisation has declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic requiring a global coordinated effort. There is currently no vaccine available for COVID-19 and symptoms can include fever, flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue and/or shortness of breath.
This page contains specific advice to support Optometry Australia members and their patients. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide members with relevant up-to-date information as it becomes available. We urge our members to be vigilant for signs of the COVID-19
Latest information about COVID-19
The latest information about COVID-19, such as the current status of the virus in Australia, symptoms, and advice can be found at the Department of Health website, including a list of up to date resources.
The World Health Organisation also provides daily updates, information and guidance about the global outbreak.
What to do in your workplace
Steps to take immediately:
- discuss a plan of action with your staff and colleagues
- ensure that all clinical and non-clinical staff know the signs of the coronavirus and are being vigilant
- have a good understanding of infection control principles and allocate time during and after appointments to implement these protocols
- place information posters in your clinic or workplace
- advise patients to reconsider/delay appointment if they have flu like symptoms or have travelled to internationally known hot spots in recent weeks
- use preventative measures to limit the spread of virus.
Patient alert posters and social media tiles are also available from both Optometry Australia and the Department of Health. Optometry Australia’s poster has editable fields to suit your practice preferences and allows you to attach a practice logo.
In suspected cases, current advice from the Department of Health is:
- provide a surgical mask to the patient (if mask is available) and
- ask them to present to their GP or Emergency Department immediately (after phoning ahead to warn them that they are coming).
Staffing, HR and financial support
For employees, employers & locums
COVID safe plan template for optometry
Infection control video updates
COVID-19 Clinical Advice
Includes: urgent care, PPE, infection control,
telehealth, contact lenses
Practice posters and social media tiles
COVID-19 mental health support
Business continuity and support
Other helpful resources
World Health Organisation advice and resources
Australian Department of Health advice and resources
Support for our members
We realise this is a difficult and uncertain time for all of us. Optometry Australia’s optometry advisor helpdesk offers our members dedicated experienced optometrists ready to provide confidential support.
Australian Department of Health – National Coronavirus information Hotline
Phone: 1800 020 080
Hours: Operates 24/7
Australian Department of Business
Phone: 13 28 46
Operating hours: Seven days a week, 7.00am to 11.00pm AEST