This web page is our main source of up-to-date information on Sabates Eye Center’s response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
At Sabates Eye Centers, the health and well-being of our patients, staff and physicians are always our top priority. While information about COVID-19 is constantly evolving, we are monitoring the situation closely and have put protocols in place that follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations.
UPDATE 3/24/20: Due to the city-wide "stay at home" order, public health concerns and our commitment to patient, staff, and physician safety, Sabates Eye Centers will be temporarily limiting our hours and clinic locations effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Reminder, only urgent cases are being seen at this time. Please call prior to arriving to insure location is open.
- Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays: Only our location at 11261 Nall Avenue, Leawood, KS 66211 will be open for shortened hours.
- Thursdays: Only our location at 4741 S. Arrowhead Drive, Independence, MO 64055, will be open for shortened hours.
Our other locations are closed until further notice. We will be re-evaluating and adjusting our schedules on a weekly basis and our staff will contact patients to reschedule as soon as we are able. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we manage our practice during this unprecedented time with limited staffing.
UPDATE 3/23/20: All of our Optical Centers have closed until further notice. For questions regarding glasses or contact lens orders, please call 913-261-2020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to working with a very limited staff, please allow 48 hours for a response.
UPDATE 3/20/20: The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has recommended all ophthalmologists suspend routine patient visits and provide only urgent or emergent care now during the global COVID-19 pandemic. As of today, Sabates Eye Centers will follow this directive to continue seeing only urgent cases. All other non-urgent patient care appointments will be postponed. We will be re-evaluating and adjusting our schedules on a weekly basis and our staff will contact patients to reschedule as soon as we are able. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we manage our practice during this unprecedented time with limited staffing.
What we ask of you:
- If you have traveled internationally, traveled on a cruise ship, have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, please call 913-261-2020 to reschedule your appointment.
- Shortness of breath
- We will screen every visitor at our entrance to identify and limit potential exposure to COVID-19 in our clinics. If we determine you meet the CDC criteria, we will reschedule your visit.
- Please limit the number of visitors you bring with you to your appointment to one essential person. Any visitors over your one guest will need to wait in their car or return later after your appointment.
What Sabates Eye Centers is doing:
- We have developed and implemented augmented cleaning and disinfecting procedures for all patient-affected areas including front desk areas, waiting rooms and exam rooms. Exam rooms are thoroughly cleaned after each patient visit while other areas are cleaned continually as well.
- We have taken precautions regarding social distancing including spacing out chairs in our waiting rooms and removing the coffee makers, magazines, and any other surfaces not imperative to our clinics. We will also not be shaking hands with patients during this time.
- Eye doctors are using a special plastic barrier called a slit-lamp breath shield. This helps block the exchange of breath between patient and doctor.
- Your physician will wait until after your eye exam to talk with you or answer questions.
- Updates related to patient appointments will be communicated by phone from our scheduling associates or by email or text.
COVID-19 and the Eyes
When a sick person coughs or talks, virus particles can spray from their mouth or nose into another person’s face, which can enter through your eyes. People who have coronavirus can also spread the illness through their tears. Touching tears or a surface where tears have landed can be another portal to infection. You can also become infected by touching something that has the virus on it — like a table or doorknob — and then touching your eyes.
Coronavirus may cause pink eye — but it’s rare
Health officials believe viral pink eye, or conjunctivitis, develops in about 1% to 3% of people with coronavirus.
Four ways to help yourself and others:
It’s important to remember that although there is a lot of concern about coronavirus, common sense precautions can significantly reduce your risk of getting infected. So, wash your hands a lot, follow good contact lens hygiene and avoid touching or rubbing your nose, mouth and especially your eyes.
1. If you wear contact lenses, switch to glasses for a while.
Contact lens wearers touch their eyes more than the average person. Consider wearing glasses more often, especially if you tend to touch your eyes a lot when your contacts are in.
2. Wearing glasses may add a layer of protection.
Corrective lenses or sunglasses can shield your eyes from infected respiratory droplets. But they don’t provide 100% security. If you’re caring for a sick patient or potentially exposed person, safety goggles may offer a stronger defense.
3. Stock up on eye medicine prescriptions if you can.
Experts advise patients to stock up on critical medications, so that you'll have enough to get by if you are quarantined or if supplies become limited. But this may not be possible for everyone. If your insurance allows you to get more than 1 month of essential eye medicine, such as glaucoma drops, you should do so. Some insurers will approve a 3-month supply of medication in times of natural disaster. Ask your pharmacist or our office for help if you have trouble getting approval from your insurance company. And as always, request a refill as soon as you're due. Don't wait until the last minute to contact your pharmacy.
4. Avoid rubbing your eyes.
While it can be hard to break this natural habit, doing so will lower your risk of infection. If you feel an urge to itch or rub your eye or even to adjust your glasses, use a tissue instead of your fingers. Dry eyes can lead to more rubbing, so consider adding moisturizing drops to your eye routine. If you must touch your eyes for any reason — even to administer eye medicine — wash your hands first with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we do our part to limit the spread of the coronavirus while continuing to provide the highest quality care.