Following CDC Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination and Governor Abbott’s announcement of ending mask mandates, Houston Eye Associates (HEA) made the determination to continue the current practice of masking for employees, patients, vendors, and guests in patient care areas regardless of the vaccination status. HEA believes these recommendations are in the best interest of our patients and the community HEA serves.
Houston Eye Associates (HEA) physicians, optometrists, and staff have been committed to providing the best eye care to patients for 50 years. Our dedication to patients has been reinforced during this challenging time of COVID-19 pandemic. HEA enhanced patient safety practices to assure your protection regardless of the services you receive. We are excited to let you know that majority of our physicians and staff have been vaccinated or are in the process of being vaccinated against COVID-19.
Below are some recommendations to help guide you as you consider seeking care at HEA and what should you expect when you come.
Do Not Postpone Necessary Care. Some patients have been delaying care for decreased vision, or other eye issues. Do NOT postpone care that is necessary or it may lead to complications that may require surgical intervention or lead to loss of vision. Do NOT postpone necessary preventive care such as diabetes screening or glaucoma follow up exams.
Is It Safe to Go to Your Doctor? If you are still hesitant, call us to talk with our staff about our clinics and the precautions we follow. We have established special procedures for cleaning and disinfecting, rearranged waiting rooms, our physicians and staff wear masks and other personal protective equipment when indicated. We have easily accessible hand washing areas and available hand sanitizers.
Consider Telehealth Virtual Visits. HEA patients may receive certain care by “telehealth” – audio or audio/visual care via your phone or computer. Call us to discuss if telehealth is a good option for you.
What to Expect When You Visit HEA? To prevent you from getting COVID-19, or giving it to others, you will be asked to do the following:
- Wear a face-covering regardless of your vaccination status. Everyone over the age of two should wear a face covering (face mask).
- Limit visitors or people who go to your appointment with you, which allows us to limit the number of people in the buildings and to practice better social distancing. If you need assistance coming to your visit, try to limit people who accompany you to ONE person.
- Sign an Acknowledgement form to attest to the absence of signs of illness consistent with COVID-19.
- Avoid crowded waiting areas. Waiting rooms have chairs spaced apart to keep you and others safe. Sometimes you will be asked to wait in your car until your doctor is ready to see you.
- Wash your hands often. Use soap and water for 20 seconds or use available hand sanitizer when washing your hands is not possible. You can bring your own hand sanitizer if it makes you feel more comfortable.
Should you be fully vaccinated or get tested before seeking care? We encourage you to get vaccinated, but you do not require to be vaccinated or tested before entering our facilities. Prior to certain surgeries, it may be necessary to be tested. Your physician will let you know this is necessary.
HEA patients should have confidence in seeking care, and trust that HEA providers are doing their best to keep you, your family, and our community safe and healthy.