COVID-19 Resources 

 

Standards and Guidelines  COVID- 19 FAQ  Information for Patients  Vaccine Information

April 16, 2021

COVID-19 UPDATE #34 

Today the Ontario Government announced that the current Stay at Home Order that went into force on April 8, 2021, is being extended for a further two weeks, until at least May 20, 2021.  

Click here to read the entire update. 

 

April 7, 2021

COVID-19 UPDATE #33 Ontario Government Issues Stay at Home Order 

The Ontario Government has again declared a provincial state of emergency. Effective Thursday April 8, 2021 at 12:01 am, certain businesses and service providers in Ontario will be subject to additional public health restrictions. 

In person opticianry services may continue by appointment only between 7am and 8pm, at 25% capacity

We confirm that as regulated health professionals, opticians may continue to offer in-person services to the public with the following conditions for optical stores:

  • Stores are subject to a 25% capacity limit
  • Stores must operate by appointment 
  • Stores may only operate between the hours of 7am and 8pm

Dispensaries may continue to offer curbside pickup between 7am and 8pm and may offer delivery. 

Click here to read the entire update. 

 

April 1, 2021

COVID-19 UPDATE #32 Ontario Implements Provincewide Emergency Brake

The Ontario Government announced today that effective Saturday April 3, 2021, a provincewide emergency brake will be in effect that returns all regions of the province to the “Shutdown Zone”. 

The rules for the Shutdown Zone permit regulated health professionals, including opticians, to continue offering services to the public. All retail businesses must, however, limit their capacity to 25% and post a sign in a visible location stating their maximum capacity. No restrictions on hours or requirements to operate on an appointment-only basis have been announced at this time. The College is continuing to monitor the situation and will provide updates should any new information become available. 

Click here to read the entire update. 

March 12, 2021

COVID-19 UPDATE #31 Vaccination for Healthcare Workers

Health care workers, including opticians and dispensary staff, are being prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination. COVID-19 vaccination programs are being administered by local public health units based on guidelines set by the Ministry of Health. Under these guidelines, opticians have been categorized as “High Priority”. Please be assured that we have communicated to the Ministry how close in proximity opticians work with their patients. 

Click here to read the entire update. 

March 8, 2021

COVID-19 UPDATE #30

As you are aware from our bulletin on Friday, March 5, a number of regions have now moved out of Emergency Shutdown measures and into the strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework effective today. 

Please note the following correction to Friday’s bulletin. Effective March 8, 2021, optical stores in the Grey: Lockdown zone are no longer required to operate on an appointment-only basis, and are not subject to restrictions on operating hours. Click here to see a chart that outlines which rules apply to each zone. 

Click here to read the entire update. 

March 5, 2021

COVID-19 UPDATE #29

Return to COVID-19 Response Framework

The Ontario Government announced today that Toronto, Peel and North Bay-Parry Sound Public Health Regions will no longer be subject to the Emergency Shutdown, and will be returning to the strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework effective Monday March 8, 2021. Toronto and Peel will be returning to the Grey-Lockdown level, and North Bay Parry Sound will be returning to the Red-Control level. 

A summary of the rules for each zone under the COVID-19 Response Framework can be found here

Click here to read the entire update. 

March 3, 2021

COVID-19 UPDATE #28

The College has received several inquiries regarding opticians receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccination programs are being administered by local Public Health Units rather than being managed at the provincial level. While the Ministry of Health has classified health care workers such as opticians as 'High Priority', the roll-out of the vaccines is taking place regionally based on Ministry guidelines and each Public Health Unit has put in place screening methods to prioritize vaccine distribution.  

Click here to read the entire update. 

February 12, 2021

COVID-19 UPDATE #27

On February 12, 2021, the Ontario Government has announced that effective February 16, 2021, more regions of the province will be transitioning out of the shutdown and into a revised and strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework. 

The following regions remain subject to shutdown measures or have been designated as Grey-Lockdown and must continue to operate on an appointment-only basis and restrict hours to between 7am and 8pm: 

•    North Bay Parry Sound District
•    Peel Public Health
•    Toronto Public Health 
•    York Region Public Health 
•    Niagara Region Public Health 

Click here to read the entire update. 

 

February 9, 2021

COVID-19 UPDATE #26

On February 8, 2021 the Ontario Government announced that COVID-19 restrictions will gradually be relaxed over the coming days and weeks. 

Effective February 10, 2021, the following regions will be moving back to the COVID-19 Response Framework system at the Green-Prevent level: 

  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health
  • Renfrew County and District Unit Health
     

Click here to read the entire update. 

 

January 12, 2021

COVID-19 UPDATE #25

The Ontario Government has again declared a provincial state of emergency. Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021, certain businesses and service providers in Ontario will be subject to additional public health restrictions. These measures will remain in place until at least February 11, 2021.  

Click here to read the entire update. 

Click on the link to see our updated our Frequently Asked Questions document. 

 

December 22, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE #24

The College has received additional information relating to the Province-wide shutdown announced by the Ontario Government yesterday, which will come into effect at 12:01 am on December 26, 2020. 

In person opticianry services may continue by appointment only

We confirm that as regulated health professionals, opticians may continue to offer services to the public during the shutdown. However, in an effort to curb foot traffic and regulate the flow of persons in public and commercial spaces, the government has directed that optical stores operate on an appointment-only basis for all in person services. 

Click here to read the entire update. 

 

December 21, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE #23

Today the Ontario Government announced that a province-wide shutdown will come into effect as of December 26, 2020 in an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19. All non-essential businesses have been ordered to close for 28 days in Southern Ontario, and 14 days in Northern Ontario.  

Based on the information available at this time, the shutdown does not currently apply to regulated health professionals, and therefore health services may remain open. Nevertheless, the College reminds all opticians that this is not business as usual. While health services have thus far been excluded from the lockdown order, today's announcement demonstrates that the situation in many parts of the province has reached alarming levels. Opticians should only provide services where they can do so safely and in accordance with Standard 4 on Safety and Infection Control, as well as the Return to Practice Guidelines.

Click here to read the entire update. 

November 23, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE #22

As you are aware from our bulletin on Friday, the Ontario Government has implemented lockdown measures for Toronto and Peel effective today and for the next 28 days.  

The College has now received confirmation from the Ministry of Health Emergency Operations Centre that health services may remain open in these zones during the lockdown period. As previously communicated, opticians should continue to adhere to the Return to Practice Guidelines, including taking steps to ensure health and safety in the practice environment.   

The College continues to monitor the situation and will provide updates as additional information becomes available to us.   

Click here to read the complete update.  We have also updated our Frequently Asked Questions. 

 

November 20, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE #21


Today the Ontario Government announced that it is moving Toronto and Peel into lockdown measures in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19. These measures include limiting most retail to curbside pickup and delivery in affected areas. 

Click here to read the complete update. 

 

September 24, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE #20


Many of you have safely and successfully returned to practice since the easing of provincial restrictions. Thank you for your diligence in keeping apprised of bulletins from the College and following best practices as laid out in the Return to Practice Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions document. The Return to Practice Guidelines are now also available in French.

Click here to read the complete update. 

 

July 10, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE #19

Many of you have started to settle back into practice and have been reaching out to us for practice advice, especially around the use of face masks. Updates have been made to the Return to Practice Guidelines and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document to reflect clarifications received from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer regarding the use of masks by health care professionals, patients and visitors. 

Click here to read the complete update. 

 

June 29, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE #18

The College has updated the Return to Practice Guidelines, specifically with regards to new contact lens fits. The College continues to recommend using professional judgement when deciding if it is in the patient’s interest to proceed with a new contact lens fitting, to use the appropriate PPE and to minimize close contact where ever possible.  Please feel free to reach out to practiceadvice@collegeofopticians.ca for any questions or clarifications. Click here to read the complete update.

 

June 26, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE #17

The College has received several questions from registrants regarding the performance of initial contact lens fittings.  To address these inquiries the College has sent out an update, click here to read it

 

June 18, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE #16

Updates to the Return to Practice Guidelines
 
The College has updated its Return to Practice Guidelines to reflect the following updated documents issued by the Ministry of Health:

•    COVID-19 Operational Requirements: Health Sector Restart
•    Patient Screening Guidance Documents

Click here to read the entire update. 

 

May 26, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE #15: Amended Directive #2 Allowing Gradual Return to Practice

Today the Chief Medical Officer of Health has revoked Directive #2 (issued March 19, 2020), which limited health care professionals to essential or emergency services.
In its place, an amended Directive #2 has been issued, which allows for a gradual restart of health care services in accordance with the College’s Return to Practice Guidelines and the Ministry of Health’s Health Sector Restart Requirements.

Click here to read the entire update. 

 

June 4, 2020– 11:00 am

Frequently Asked Questions

The College of Opticians has prepared a document to address questions from Registrants and the public. Click here to see the document. As always we are available by phone and email if you need to contact us.

Please visit our directory for further information.  

 

May 26, 2020

Return to Practice Guidelines Webinar

The College has created a Webinar to share information about the Return to Practice Guidelines and to answer registrant questions. Please keep in mind that the Guidelines are updated regularly so please check back for updates. 

View Webinar Recording  Presentation PDF
 

May 25, 2020 – 3:00pm

Spring Update and Board Highlights 

Please click here for a number of important updates. As always, as a health care professional, you are required to keep yourself informed and up to date. Remember, the time spent reading updates and completing surveys can be counted towards your self-directed continuing education requirements. Please help us better understand your thoughts by completing the two surveys enclosed.  

 

May 15, 2020 – 5:00pm

COVID-19 Update #14: Return to Practice 

Yesterday the Ontario Government announced a list of additional businesses that are permitted to reopen as of Tuesday May 19, 2020. The list includes retail services that are not in shopping malls and that have separate street-front entrances with measures in place that can enable physical distancing. 

While this announcement indicates that Ontario is moving forward with its plan to reopen the province, opticians are still subject to Directive #2 which limits health professionals to essential or emergency services until further notice. Non-essential opticianry services cannot be resumed until this directive is amended or rescinded by the provincial authorities.  

Click here to read the entire update.

 

May 13, 2020 – 6:00pm

COVID-19 Update #13: Return to Practice Guidelines  

The College has developed Return to Practice Guidelines to assist Opticians as they transition back to practice once governmental restrictions are lifted.

Click here to read the entire update.

 

May 11, 2020 – 5:00pm

COVID-19 Update #12: Return to Practice Guidelines Webinar 

In anticipation of the government’s relaxing of social distancing measures the College is developing Return to Practice Guidelines to assist you prepare for the return to practice. On Friday May 15th at 10:00 am we invite registrants to attend the webinar to learn more about the Guidelines and pose any questions you may have. Click here to register for the webinar. 

Click here to read the entire update.

 

April 29, 2020 – 3:00pm

COVID-19 Update #11: Practice Guidelines

The Clinical Practice Committee has developed a COVID19 specific set of guidelines in the areas of dispensing and infection control to assist you during this period.  Click here to see the guidelines. 

 

April 22, 2020 – 2:00pm

COVID-19 Update #10: Essential Service Providers

Many patients have reached out to us with questions about how to access urgent care during this pandemic. To address this concern, the College has created a directory of opticians who are currently providing urgent or essential care. 

If you are a patient click here to see the list. 

If you are registered optician and would like to be added to this list, please log into the Member Portal and follow the instructions.

Click here to read the entire update.

 

April 9, 2020 – 3:00pm

COVID-19 Update #9: Essential Service Provider List

As you are aware, the Minister of Health has directed that health care providers restrict their practice to only essential services. Some optical dispensaries have remained open to provide essential services such as critical repairs and replacements of eyeglasses as well as refilling contact lenses.

Creation of a Directory of Opticians Available for Urgent and Essential Services

Click here to read the entire update.


March 31, 2020 – 4:30pm

COVID-19 Update #8

Many of you have reached out to the College seeking guidance and clarity as the COVID-19 issue unfolds. The College continues to monitor the situation including participating in daily Ministry of Health update meetings as well as communications with other health regulatory partners, the Association and optical dispensary operators.

We remind you that we are still currently under the Minister's directive to provide only essential care and we encourage you to use the updated Standards of Practice to provide essential care remotely where possible. Click here to read the entire update.


March 26, 2020

Important Information For the Public – 3:30pm

The College of Opticians has created a document which summarizes information shared with registrants regarding the practice of opticianry during the COVID-19 pandemic and in light of recent government directives concerning the delivery of health care services.

Click here to read the bulletin.


March 24, 2020

Update: Closure of Non-Essential Workplaces - 4:00pm

We are writing to provide you with additional information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and how it impacts you as a regulated health professional.

Please click here for details.


March 20, 2020

Important Update from the Ministry of Health - 3:00pm

We have heard from a number of you this week with concerns for your personal safety and the safety of your patients. We are writing to provide you with an important update on the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 virus.

Ministry of Health Directive
This morning, the Ministry of Health (MOH) issued a directive that requires all health care providers in Ontario to immediately cease all non-essential and elective services, or reduce them to minimal levels, until further notice. ...

Click here to read the COO Communication.

Click here to read the CMOH letter.


March 23, 2020

Quality Assurance Update - 8:30am

We have heard many concerns from Registrants this week and in order to address these the Quality Assurance Committee met and made some important decisions.

Click here for the details of the decisions.


March 19, 2020

COVID Update to Registrants - *update 4:30pm

As front-line health care professionals who work in close proximity to patients, it's important that Opticians take reasonable and appropriate measures to minimize the risk of infections like COVID-19 in the practice environment to protect your patients, your staff and yourself.

Click here to view or download the update.


March 19, 2020

Managing Health Worker Illness and Return to Work COVID-19 - 1:00pm

The Ministry of Health has issued a letter regarding worker illness and returning to work.

Please click here to read the letter.


March 19, 2020

Temporary Signage for Closed Dispensaries  - 4-30pm

If your dispensary has decided to cease operations temporarily, click here for some suggested content to create a sign for your dispensary.


March 17, 2020

COVID Update to Registrants - 10:00 am

As front-line health care professionals who work in close proximity to patients, it’s important that Opticians take reasonable and appropriate measures to minimize the risk of infections like COVID-19 in the practice environment to protect your patients, your staff and yourself.

Click here to view or download the update.


March 16, 2020

College of Opticians of Ontario Providing Services Remotely - 12:00pm

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the threat of community spread, the College of Opticians of Ontario will be temporarily operating a virtual office as of March 17, 2020, until further notice. This decision was made to minimize College staff exposure to COVID-19 to both protect our team and reduce possible associated service disruptions to patients and registrants.

The College has systems in place to ensure that staff are fully equipped to provide services to the public and registrants while working remotely. The College expects to operate with few disruptions, none of which will affect the College's public protection mandate. The identified disruptions are as follows:

  • Courier packages cannot be received at the office.
  • Please consider contacting us by phone or email for a faster response. For general inquiries please contact mail@collegeofopticians.ca or visit the online directory for a list of departments and contact information.

Mar 5, 2020 - 12:00pm

Working to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus

The College of Opticians is monitoring the situation regarding the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ontario. Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health advises that the risk remains low, however, the College has put together some information to assist opticians in their practice. These guidelines can be read in conjunction with the College's existing Standards of Practice.

Please click here to view the full article.


© 2021 College of Opticians of Ontario  


Privacy Policy   Accessibility  En Français

The College of Opticians of Ontario, 90 Adelaide Street W., Suite 300, Toronto, ON M5H 3V9

Home   Contact Us