May 11, 2020
Eye care business to safely reopen its centers in May
GREEN BAY, Wis. – After temporarily closing its centers to protect patients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, Shopko Optical is reopening all of its centers in a phased approach throughout the month. Although eye care is considered essential, Shopko Optical decided it was in the best interest of the public and its employees to temporarily close its centers beginning in March.
Shopko Optical continues to review and evaluate guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Optometric Association (AOA), as well as various federal, state, and local authorities, to ensure each center reopening protects its staff, doctors, patients, and community.
“As we reopen each location, the health and well-being of our patients and staff will continue to be our top priority. We want those who enter our centers to feel confident in their safety,” said Russ Steinhorst, Shopko Optical CEO. “After thorough consideration, we are choosing to reopen in a responsible manner that aims to protect the communities we are serving.”
The reopening of Shopko Optical centers will additionally alleviate the load on other segments of the healthcare system, who are seeing patients for eye care needs during this time.
As part of its reopening plan, Shopko Optical has implemented the following CDC- and AOA-recommended procedures for each center to keep its staff, patients, and the community as safe as possible:
• Staff will take the temperatures of patients and staff with touchless thermometers before they enter a center.
• Each center will limit the patient schedule to reduce the number of people in the facility at any given time.
• To ensure proper social distancing, patients are asked to come alone unless a parent, guardian or caretaker are needed.
• Masks will be worn by Shopko Optical staff, doctors and patients. Patients are asked to arrive with a face covering of their own.
• The Shopko Optical team will continue the frequency of even more rigorous cleaning across highly trafficked areas such as the disinfection of optical equipment, instrumentation, eyeglass frames and all common surfaces.
• Patients will be asked to reschedule appointments if they or someone in their home is experiencing any flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing, any respiratory symptoms or a loss of taste or smell, they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are waiting for test results, they have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms, or have recently traveled from somewhere outside the U.S. or on a cruise ship or river boat.
Shopko Optical locations in Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah, and Wisconsin will resume essential eye care as well as routine annual eye exams, new contact lens exams, and treatment of seasonal allergies or dry eye.
Centers in Michigan and Washington will be open for essential eye care only for the time being. Essential eye care includes conditions such as injuries or sudden changes in eye health requiring immediate care. This includes vision loss, trauma, redness, pain, the need for an eye exam due to lost or broken eyewear, or other symptoms that significantly affect day-to-day activities. For non-essential eye care needs in these locations, the Shopko Optical staff may be able to provide assistance over the phone or schedule a future appointment. Curbside pickup of glasses and contacts will be available. Patients may also request to have their eyewear mailed to their homes.
As COVID-19 has changed the way centers are able to see patients, Shopko Optical is planning an expansion of digital eye exams. The program was successfully piloted earlier this year and will be available in 20 centers by the end of June.
Shopko Optical accepts most major vision plans, including EyeMed, Spectera, Davis, VIP, UWG, Avesis, and many more. To certify coverage or book an appointment, visit Shopko.com.
About Shopko Optical
Shopko Optical, is the trade name of Shoptikal LLC, an affiliate of Monarch Alternative Capital LP. For more than 40 years, Shopko Optical has provided excellent patient-centric care and high-quality eyewear through its dedicated team of nearly 700 optometrists (independent doctors of optometry in IA, ID, MT, SD and WA) and opticians. Shopko Optical expects further growth in 2020 and beyond. For more information, visit Shopko.com.
About Monarch Alternative Capital LP
Monarch Alternative Capital LP is a private investment firm with approximately $5 billion in assets under management across various investment vehicles. Monarch was founded in 2002 and focuses primarily on opportunistic investing across distressed debt, special situations equity and real estate. The firm has offices in New York and London.
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