NEW YORK—The number of eyecare practices and stores that are now closed as a result of the pandemic is dropping, according to the latest Coronavirus ECP Survey by Jobson Optical Research. 81.7 percent of respondents said their locality is currently under a stay-at-home order, down from about 90 percent over several previous weeks. As the stay-at-home orders begin to ease in certain states, or in portions of those states, the vast majority of eyecare practitioners across the country say they are planning to reopen their practices or stores once the restrictions are lifted.

Ninety-three percent of ECPs said they are likely to reopen their business, as opposed to only 1.5 percent who said they are likely to close for good, according to Jobson’s latest Coronavirus ECP Survey. (5.1 percent of respondents said they are unsure what they would do.) The findings are consistent with prior ECP Surveys conducted over the past two weeks.

Among those respondents who anticipate reopening soon, or may have already reopened—two-thirds said they are rescheduling patient appointments for May, up slightly from a week ago, and one in four said they are rescheduling patients for June appointments.

57.2 percent of the ECPs reported that patients said they would be willing to reschedule if they were comfortable with the safety precautions in place, and 30.1 percent said their patients are eager to reschedule. Although 44.5 percent of respondents said they’ve had to lay off all of their staff since the pandemic started, 67.2 percent said they plan to rehire any staff that have been laid off.

Yet for many ECPs whose businesses are in areas that are still locked down, time may be running out. 21.4 percent of survey respondents said their business could not survive another one to two weeks without being permitted to open. Twenty-three percent said they couldn’t make it for than three to four more weeks, and 32.9 percent said they could only survive one to two months.

These are some of the key findings of the COVID19 Practice Performance Tracker for May 4, 2020. The survey also has up-to-date information about how ECPs are incorporating telehealth into their practices and how they are preparing to reopen. Click here to see the complete survey results.