Tips to Prepare for the Worst
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re well aware of the havoc coronavirus (COVID-19) has created around the world. More recently, the CDC alerted Americans that the spread of the virus in the United States is inevitable. This will likely have major implications for all retail stores across the country, including optical retail stores. As an optical brick-and-mortar store, your in-person retail experience is your bread and butter. As you can imagine, the spread of a virus like the coronavirus can be detrimental to patient office visits, sales and overall, your bottom line. We want your optical retail store to be prepared in the event that COVID-19 is declared a pandemic.
Why is the Coronavirus So Concerning
Coronavirus is a complicated virus. Fatality rates vary greatly based on a number of factors including age, gender and family history. Current average fatality rates sit at 2.3%, which is much higher than the flu’s average fatality rate. The risk of death for those over 70 years old is 8%. The risk under 9 years old is currently 0%. Those in critical condition have a fatality rate of 49%. The coronavirus can be lethal, but nearly 80% of all cases are mild, making it difficult to determine whether those affected by the virus have coronavirus or a run-of-the-mill cold. Because of this, the virus can be difficult to detect and therefore, easier to spread as people do not know to seek medical attention.
How to Prepare Your Optical Store for Coronavirus
- It’s smart to invest in disinfecting wipes for consumer use. Warby Parker uses individually wrapped alcohol wipes for customers to wipe down glasses before trying them on. Aside from this, you should make a habit of properly disinfecting commonly used equipment between patients.
- Spread out seating in your patient waiting room. The closer proximity people have to one another, the more likely COVID-19 is to spread.
- Train your staff to understand how viruses spread. A difficult task is to keep a distance from patients, but if a patient is exhibiting symptoms such as a cough, we recommend attempting to keep a 3 foot distance from them at all times. Wash your hands every hour or more frequently based on how much you’re interacting with patients.
- Provide medical masks to patients that are under the weather. The N95 mask is the most effective type of medical mask against the spread of coronavirus. While it’s beneficial for you and your staff to wear a medical mask and goggles, it’s not very customer friendly, nor is it as effective as an ill person wearing a medical mask. You can still benefit from wearing a mask and glasses instead of goggles, however. This will likely offend less patients.
- Create an emergency Pandemic Kit. This should include a 2 month supply of soap, water, first aid kits, toilet paper, tissues, paper towels and other regularly used office supplies. Essentially, you should stock up on any and all products that you and your employees may need for several weeks in the event that there’s a stop on supplies coming in and out or if there is a lockdown of any sort. We know this sounds extreme; however, it’s always better to be prepared. Create a kit like this at home as well. We also recommend extra canned foods, dried fruits and cereal in your home-kit.
We hope these tips help keep you and your employees safe and illness free. As always if you have any more tips to share with your fellow eyecare professionals, message us on Facebook!
Frame Displays provides optometrists, opticians, ophthalmologists and eyewear shops with Space Planning and Design services while also providing popular Optical Furniture choices. If your space is poorly designed or your furniture is outdated, you could be bleeding sales rapidly. We offer high quality optical furniture faster than others, and we do it at DIY prices. Contact us for a free consultation at 1-877-274-9300 or contact us here.