Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Information (below)
- Telehealth Information (scroll down)
- Board Staff Telecommuting Information (scroll down)
- Live Continuing Education Requirements (scroll down)
CDC & Practice Information
CDC Resources for Clinics and Healthcare Facilities: includes guidance on routine eye care visits: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/healthcare-facilities/index.html
CDC: Interim Guidance for Healthcare Facilities: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/healthcare-facilities/guidance-hcf.html
Licensees should follow CDC guidelines regarding elective procedures with each licensee using their professional judgement to determine what is considered elective. The March 22 Executive Order of the Governor directed all licensed health care professionals and facilities to postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately, medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition or to preserve the life of a patient who without immediate performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient’s physician. This does not apply to any procedure that, if performed in accordance with the commonly accepted standard of clinical practice, would not deplete the hospital capacity or the personal protective equipment needed to cope with the COVID-19 disaster. Please note that the city or county may have issued more restrictive guidelines.
The Texas Department of State Health Services website has a special section: www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus The American Optometric Association has posted information on the AOA Website, including the page “HPI Statement: Doctors of Optometry and COVID-19.”
The Governor has authorized the temporarily suspension of Sections (a) – (g) of Board Rule 22 T.A.C. §279.16. The temporary suspension will allow a therapeutic optometrist with a preexisting practitioner-patient relationship to, within the scope of the therapeutic optometrist’s license, provide telehealth services to a patient at a different physical location than the therapeutic optometrist by using telecommunications or information technology. The therapeutic optometrist must obtain clinical information from the patient’s relevant medical records and clinically relevant photographic or video images, including diagnostic images; or from the patient’s relevant medical records and laboratory or pathology results. The telehealth service is subject to the standard of care that would apply to the provision of the same health care service or procedure in an in-person setting.
This suspension is in effect until terminated by the Office of the Governor or until the March 13, 2020 disaster declaration is lifted or expires.
Optometry Board Staff Information
Staff members of the Optometry Board are currently telecommuting to work.
Please use the following link to contact the Board by e-mail: Board E-Mail
Unfortunately, during this period we will be unable to answer your telephone inquiries, so please e-mail the Board. We also will not be able to look at faxes on a regular basis. You can scan documents and attach to an e-mail, or take a picture with your phone and attach to an e-mail.
Board Staff appreciates your cooperation.
Live Continuing Education Requirements
The Board approves Live Webinars for live CE Credit. A live webinar allows interaction between the presenter and attendees. Courses are listed on the Board’s website with the location listed as “Live Webinar.” Note that live credit may only be obtained by attending the course on the dates listed. There may be COPE approved Live Webinars that are not listed but will be subsequently approved by the Board for live credit.
Who is my optometrist?
He is a Doctor of Optometry licensed and educated to determine powers of vision and write contact lens and eyeglass prescriptions. She most likely is licensed as a Therapeutic Optometrist and an Optometric Glaucoma Specialist.
Your Therapeutic Optometrist treats eye disorders and disease, prescribes medication, and may provide pre and post-op care for laser surgery.
Your Optometric Glaucoma Specialist is a Therapeutic Optometrist licensed to treat glaucoma.
What is the Optometry Board?
The Texas Optometry Board is a state agency authorized by the Texas Optometry Act to regulate the practice of optometry. The Optometry Act requires the Board to carefully screen applicants for an optometry license, insure that optometrists are eligible to renew their license on an annual basis, set fees, and investigate complaints. The Board has adopted rules to explain and enforce state law.
Use the “Quicklinks” or the top pull-down menus to find the information you need.