The prevalence of coronavirus infections has hit its high-water mark in this latest survey from Jobson Optical Research. Eighty percent of respondents said that someone at the office where they work has gotten the coronavirus, according to Wave 29 of the Coronavirus ECP study. It is an increase from the 64 percent of respondents who said yes to the same question in December 2021.
More than half of the respondents said that masks are not required for retail locations, but about 60 percent of respondents reported that the requirement for masks remains for medical offices. In order to continue practicing safety protocols in the exam room, where doctors and patients are often in close vicinity, 52 percent of respondents said they will continue wearing masks even if government requirements are lifted. Twenty-three percent of respondents shared they would wear masks depending on the season or if they or the patients experience any symptoms.
More than half of the respondents said they believe their practice has the capacity to see more patients but cannot, mainly due to a lack of staff.
Even so, practice metrics for February 2022 are higher than they were in February 2021. This holds true for profitability per patient, number of patients per day, revenue, optical sales and capture rate. In most of these metrics, practices are reporting a slight uptick from February 2019 – the last month before the COVID-19 pandemic began to sweep the nation.
TRADE SHOW ATTENDANCE STILL WAVERING
Out of all ECPs, 80 percent expressed that they are not planning to attend Vision Expo East this year. For ECPs who regularly attend Vision Expo East, 59 percent said they are not planning to attend mostly due to coronavirus concerns, followed by lack of budget.
SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUES LINGER
Sixty-three percent of respondents said they are still currently experiencing product delays due to supply chain issues. It is a slight improvement from the 66 percent in December and September 2021.
Frame deliveries seem to show the greatest delays, said 69 percent of respondents. The delivery date is impacted by the type of supplier and import countries, and zyl and metal frames seem to have greater delays than injection molding frames. Trailing behind are contact lenses (55 percent) and spectacle lenses (50 percent). The delays usually last between two weeks and up to four weeks, they said.
The full report can be downloaded here.