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Vision Screening Recommendations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

If your school is returning to in-person learning this fall, you may be wondering what the recommendations are for performing vision screening tests. Of course, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that precautions are taken to keep interactions with children during screening sessions safe. Through careful planning, following hand hygiene, using face coverings, and thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting equipment, vision screenings can still be safely conducted.

The recommendations for visual acuity-based screening sessions from the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) include:

  • Use disinfectant wipes on any surface touched by the child (i.e. occluders, response cards).
  • Disinfect charts before and after each screening session to protect the screener.
  • Consider using disposable matching cards and eye occluders or individual adhesive eye patches.
  • Follow social distancing guidelines as much as possible and wear face masks whenever social distancing cannot be maintained.

The recommendations during electronic instrument-based screening sessions from the AAPOS include:

  • Clean and disinfect screening equipment per the manufacturer’s guidelines before and after each session.
  • Instrument-based screening is performed at a testing distance of about one meter (approx. 3 feet) but lasts only a few seconds. This method of screening may be permitted by local health authorities as long as masks are worn by the screener and whenever possible, the child as well.
  • Consider using a plexiglass partition when social distancing cannot be maintained.

Both AAPOS and the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health-Prevent Blindness (NCCVEH) recommend avoiding color tests, near visual acuity tests, and stereoacuity tests in order to minimize screening time.

Click here to review cleaning and disinfecting considerations from Good-Lite.

To shop MacGill’s cleaning and disinfecting supplies, click here.

To shop MacGill’s occluders, click here.

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