COVID-19 Resources for ODs
The NJSOP is working to compile and keep up to date the following list of resources for ODs in New Jersey. Please be sure to monitor local agencies/news sources for information specific to your location. Links will be added as they become available. If there's a resource you're leaning on that we have not included, please share to the NJSOPnet or email to email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Effective July 22, 2022 Modified Requirements - Optometrists’ Health Care Services In Office Practices (This Order modifying DCA AO 2021-11 shall remain in effect until the end of the state of emergency declared by the Governor in EO 103, unless further modified or revoked by the Division of Consumer Affairs)
The NJ State Board of Optometrists Executive Director, Renee Clark, shared with NJSOP the Division of Consumer Affairs Administrative Order 2022-01 modifying 2021-11 regarding optometrists’ health care services in office practices (a health care practice setting not licensed by NJDOH, including but not limited to health care professional offices, private practices, clinics, urgent care centers, and community medical centers).
Optometrists are expected to now follow the below requirements -
- Stay Informed & Follow Current Guidelines - Practice in a manner that is consistent with all applicable guidance related to COVID-19 issued by the CDC, NJDOH, OSHA, and their local health department , including without limitation guidance applicable to: health care settings generally; dental or eye care settings specifically; health care practitioners ; scheduling, screening, vaccination, and testing of patients and health care workers; infection control, source control, and prevention practices; workplace safety; contact tracing; and field-specific practice.
- Monitor Regularly and Adjust Office Practices as Necessary- Monitor indicia of community spread as reflected by the statewide weekly Variant Weekly Surveillance Reports and the CDC Community Levels, and adjust office practices in a manner consistent with CDC and NJDOH recommendations based on the level of community spread. NJDOH COVID- 19 Weekly Surveillance Reports can be found at https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/statistics/covid/. (Note - In the report, see pages 4-5 to read about "CDC Community Transmission Levels for Health Care Settings" and mask and social distancing guidelines & see the NJ COVID Hub for more information on masks and social distancing). The CDC Community Levels are posted online at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019ncov/science/community-levels.html. For additional information to guide decisions impacting the provision of clinical services, health care professionals should refer to the CDC, including the CDC Framework for Healthcare Systems Providing Non- COVID-19 Clinical Care During the COVID -19 Pandemic: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/framework-non-COVID-care.html;
- Protect Staff- Protect staff from retaliation for engaging in conduct that is recommended in guidance and standards issued by the CDC, NJDOH, OSHA, and the health care professional’s local health department;
- Registered surgical practices- If applicable to you, ensure that all health care practice in registered surgical practices that are required to be licensed by the NJDOH as ambulatory surgery centers, but that have not yet been licensed, is performed in a manner consistent with all requirements that may be imposed by the NJDOH upon ambulatory surgery centers.
All health care professionals are authorized to provide in -person adult and pediatric services in an office, provided that such services are rendered consistent with their scope of practice and applicable statutes and regulations, except insofar as those statutes and regulations have been and remain waived in connection with the state of emergency declared in EO 103
What about masking in the office?
The NJ COVID Information Hub webpage still states that masks and social distancing are required for health care settings. Page 5 of the NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) COVID-19 Weekly Surveillance Report has low, moderate, and substantial/high risk guidelines that include implementation of source control (masks) and physical distancing measures.
This COVID report will be updated weekly, on Thursdays, and posted at:
Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Lifting COVID-10 Public Health Emergency (3/7/22)
Governor Murphy's Executive Order No. 292 terminates the Public Health Emergency declared in Executive Order No. 280, effective on Monday, March 7, 2022. The State of Emergency declared in Executive Order No. 103 will remain in place to ensure that the State continues to have necessary resources as COVID-19 is managed on an endemic level. It is common practice for states of emergency for major crises to remain in place to allow the State to receive and distribute federal funding without any unnecessary red tape or bureaucratic obstacles. Read more here.
3/3/22 (Shared by the AOA) Updated CDC Mask Requirements: What Doctors of Optometry Need to Know - Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their guidance regarding the use of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. CDC has clarified that these new guidelines do not apply in healthcare settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes. Instead, healthcare settings should continue to use community transmission rates and continue to follow CDC’s infection prevention and control recommendations for healthcare settings.” The CDC’s standing recommendations regarding the use of masks in health care settings suggest that everyone in the health care setting wear a mask. However, CDC has also outlined allowances to consider when developing safety plans and operation plans for health care facilities. CDC indicates that whether an individual is vaccinated or if the health care facility is located in a county with low to moderate community transmission should be factors to consider in developing masking requirements. As this guidance from CDC is not state or federal law, doctors of optometry should consider these recommendations as well any state level requirements or mandates when developing masking policies.
New Jersey COVID Business Information Hub – Find most up-to-date information for NJ businesses on reopening and staying open after COVID, including business safety and masking rules and guidelines to follow, financial assistance programs, and other resources. Check for updates as the New Jersey public health emergency status and COVID statistics trends evolve.Access the Hub, here.
COVID-related update (01/14/22) | Updated information pertaining to employee leave, federal vaccine mandates, and quarantine requirements for healthcare workers,
Information Regarding Antibody Testing (7/31/20) | This information contains a letter from the NJ Department of Health for healthcare providers and an infographic that can be shared with patients.
DCA Healthcare Services in Office Practices Guidelines - released May 19, 2020 | "All healthcare professionals are authorized to provide in-person adult and pediatric medically necessary or therapeutic services in an office, consistent with their scope of practice and the regulations of their respective boards...and shall be required to adapt and comply, and ensure that their staff comply, with policies that include, at a minimum requirements to... (read full guidelines at link above). Click here for a document containing only points B and C from the guidelines. (Members only)
NJSOP Reactivation Checklist (this is a members only document)
From the AOA: Guidance if an employee will not return to work
The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health | Announced on 4/27, this is Governor Murphy's vision to restart New Jersey and put the state on the road to recovery.
OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 | Contains recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards. The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content, and are intended to assistemployers in providing a safe and healthful workplace.
NJ's COVID-19 Information Hub | An organized, easy to use resource. Includes live updates, the NJ dashboard, and a question submission option.
NJ State Board of Optometrists Guidance for ODs Regarding COVID-19 | In a press release on March 23, 2020, the New Jersey State Board of Optometrists provided guidance to optometric physicians regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 Information for New Jersey Businesses | A comprehensive answer guide for business owners in the state. Includes a section on economic assistance.
Medicare Telemedicine Health Care Provider Fact Sheet | Info and key takeaways for the broadened access to medicare telehealth services. Includes a summary chart at the bottom of the article.
The DOL has Updated the printable guide on this page: NJDOL Benefits and the Coronavirus (COVID-19): What Employees Should Know | Includes printable guides Printable outlining COVID-19–related benefits for NJ employees
NJ COVID-19 Dashboard | Gives a complete overview of the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the state (broken down by county), and documents the number of calls to the COVID-19 hotline.
The AOA's COVID-19 resource page | Includes guides and suggestions for optometric practices, current developments/situation summary, and information on the COVID-19 relief package.
The NJDOH's COVID-19 Information for Healthcare Professionals | Guidance specific to Healthcare Personnel.
- *NEW* Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Updating and Clarifying COVID-19 Vaccination Deadlines for Covered Workers at Health Care Facilities and High-Risk Congregate Settings
On March 2, 2022, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 290, which updates and clarifies the NJ Executive Order No. 283 timeframes for requiring covered workers at health care facilities and high-risk congregate settings to be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, including having received a booster shot. EO No. 290 aligns state timelines with updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations on optimal intervals between first and second doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccination series, in addition to other updates.
Definition of covered settings in Executive Order No. 283, which does not include private offices.
- AOA Updated information on vaccine mandates
- CDC's Contact Tracer's Interview Tool: Notifying People About a COVID-19 Exposure
- Where is Vaccination or Testing Required for Workers?
- Division of Consumer Affairs - Administrative Order - Expanding Pool of Health Care Providers Who Can Administer Vaccinations. Read the DCA Administrative Order Here.
- Information on Vaccine Education and Training: https://www.cdc.gov/
- Skills checklist for Vaccine Administration: https://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p7010.pdf
- NJ Department of Health - Vaccine Phase 1A (informational letter)
- COVID-19 Vaccine Facts
- COVID-19 Vaccine Finder
Interested in volunteering to give COVID-19 vaccines? Follow these steps:Head to: https://www.nj.gov/health/lh/
njmrc/You will see a button on the left to "Apply Now"One must then register with NJLMN - New Jersey Learning Management Network at:Once you register at NJLMN with a username and password you must then return to complete the fields for the Medical Reserve Corp
PPP Loan Forgiveness Rules UPDATE! | This information is provided by Review of Optometric Business - August 5, 2020
SBA Revises Loan Application | Brand new information concerning forgiveness for the PPP program.
HHS provider relief funds portal for Medicaid providers: https://www.hhs.gov/
Paycheck Protection Program FAQ | Updated as of 4/23/20
Coronavirus: A shortlist for Healthcare Office Managers | From the New Jersey Innovation Institute
Self-Employed NJ Workers: Unemployment Benefits During the Coronavirus Emergency | Includes downloadable guides for the self-employed
The administrative order imposing emergency statewide restrictions on certain prescription medications has been UPDATED. | Administrative order 2020-03 supersedes order 2020-01 which was previously imposed on March 29. The new order reiterates the restrictions contained in the prior order, but includes additional exceptions for prescriptions to patients in post-acute care facilities, assisted living facilities, nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities.
Murphy Issues Insurance Premium Grace Period | New Jersey Business Magazine
Brach Eichler COVID-19 Resource Center | Important labor & employment and healthcare law alerts. New info posted daily!
PPE Resources - updated as resources become available.
AOA Patient Safety Fact Sheet & AOA Patient Safety Tips | Download and share with your patient base to help them become more familiar with the ways you're keeping them safe and the changes they'll see around the office.
This update from VSP Global includes a write up about an OD who used video to show his patients how he's making his office safe for their return.
Child Care in New Jersey for Essential Workers | If you're trying to locate a childcare center open to essential workers, this information from the NJ Department of Human Services can help!
HEA's Recovery Reboot: Your Path to Powering Up Your Practice | Six part download and video series.
Update from Coopervision | Contains an eyecare practice survival guide, online toolkit, information on their rebate program, direct-to-patient shipping, and more.
Additional links and resources from VSP: Telemedicine Resources & Billing Guide (https://www.vspproviderhub.
This link from VSP contains a number of resources (for all docs) including: information for PPE with a link to a list of suppliers that VSP has been working with. Since the announcement, a few suppliers have been overwhelmed. Information will be updated as they learn who is able to fulfill requests.
Article: The COVID-19 Pandemic: Important Considerations for Contact Lens Practitioners | From Contactlensjournal.com
Optometry's Meeting Canceled | Out of an abundance of caution amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the AOA canceled the in-person portion of Optometry’s Meeting 2020 with key elements to be reconfigured virtually.
Small Business Guidance from The Vision Council | Updated semi-regularly
What the COVID-19 relief package means for ODs | From optometrytimes.com
AmeriHealth NJ Employee Eligibility Exception for furloughed or temporarily laid off employees | NJSOP members who have questions or need additional assistance should reach out to Perry Gandelman at email@example.com or 609-695-1496.
Volunteering in NJ: New Jersey Department of State - Volunteer & National Service
- Access recordings of past #AskAOA webinars here. (Fill out the form to gain access)
- Recording of NJBIA's A Business Owner's Guide to Loans webinar | Accompanying slides can be accessed here: Part 1 & Part 2
- Sequence for Donning & Doffing PPE | This video walks viewers step-by-step through the guidelines prescribed by the CDC for donning and doffing a gown, mask/respirator, face shield, and gloves.