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Important Patient Safety Information: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Now offering Telemedicine Appointments. To schedule, please call 212-861-6200 between 9-3 or request an appointment online.

Updated 3/23/2020:

As you undoubtedly know, the COVID-19 crisis has affected every facet of our lives-our homes, our workplaces and our human interactions. Our office is no exception. As mandated by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and except for the rare, true emergency, we will not be seeing patients. Although the office will be closed, our phones will be answered by one of our receptionists from 9 AM to 3 PM, Monday to Friday, or by our answering service at other times. This may change depending on the current situation, even from one day to the next. We are coping as best we can in this unprecedented crisis, so please be patient if you need to call. I’d like to end with part of an email message from Mount Sinai Hospital, updating physicians on the corona virus crisis:

“We have to remember that, as hard as things are, and as hard as they may become, we will get through this. The pandemic will end. We will get back to normal. In the meantime, let us remember to take the best care of each other that we possibly can. Each and every act of kindness, patience and decency will make us more resilient in the coming days.”

Dear Valued Patient,

As the Coronavirus continues to spread, Eastside Eye Associates is committed to your health and safety. We are constantly monitoring the CDC and WHO websites and taking necessary precautions. If you have fever and a cough and have recently traveled to China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Iran, or Washington State you have been exposed to someone potentially infected with the Coronavirus, please visit your nearest emergency room instead of scheduling an appointment at our office.

Please note: Eastside Eye Associates CANNOT perform testing for coronavirus on-site. We ask that you please contact your primary care physician or visit your local emergency room for evaluation if you feel you have been exposed to coronavirus and have a fever and cough or shortness of breath.

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals. COVID-19 Novel (meaning “new”) coronavirus is a virus strain that has only spread in people since December 2019. There are thousands of confirmed cases in China and additional cases being identified in a growing number of countries internationally, including the United States.

How does novel coronavirus spread?

The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source, but now it seems to be spreading from person to person. Since this virus is very new, health authorities continue to carefully watch how this virus spreads. Other coronaviruses spread from an infected person to others through:

  • The air by coughing and sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes

How can I prevent getting novel coronavirus?

Currently there are no vaccines available to prevent novel coronavirus infections. Steps you can take to prevent spread of flu and the common cold will also help prevent coronavirus:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid contact with others
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

How severe is novel coronavirus?

People infected have had illness that has ranged from mild (like a common cold) to severe pneumonia that requires medical care in a hospital. So far, deaths have been reported mainly in older adults who had other health conditions.

What are the symptoms?

People who have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus have symptoms that may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

How is novel coronavirus treated?

There is no specific treatment for coronavirus. Most people with mild coronavirus illness will recover on their own by drinking plenty of fluids, resting, and taking pain and fever medications. However, some people develop pneumonia and need medical care or treatment in a hospital.

For more information: