NEW YORK—Over a holiday weekend during which the U.S. reached a record four million COVID-19 vaccine doses given in 24 hours, according to the CDC, national optical sales experienced significant declines. Over the course of last week (March 29-April 4), optical service/product categories were down on a national basis by -4 index points for frame units and lens pairs and -5 index points for gross revenue, exams/refractions, and contact lenses, according to the latest Jobson Practice Performance Tracker.

In addition to the impact of last week’s Easter and Passover holidays, the country also experienced concerning increases in COVID-19 cases, according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker. New results from the latest Jobson Optical Research Coronavirus ECP Survey (Wave 21) indicated that key practice performance metrics for March 2021 remain below where they were during a “normal” pre-pandemic year in March of 2019—showing profitability per patient at -5 percent, number of patients per day at -8 percent, revenue at -4percent, and optical sales at -3 percent.

While most regions reflected national declines in optical sales at rates of -4 and -5 index points, optical sales in the West remained primarily flat, except for contact lenses, which declined by 1 index point. Optical sales in the Midwest decreased by greater amounts, at rates of -6 index points for contact lenses, -7 index points for gross revenue, and -8 index points for exams/refractions. All this while different states in all regions experienced both increases and decreases in their numbers of COVID-19 cases, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center

The Jobson COVID-19 Practice Performance Tracker data is compiled by Jobson Research from GPN/EDGEPro and ABB Analyze data.

This index baseline was developed by Jobson Research from total sales from an average 7 days in the first quarter of 2019.

Click here to view the complete Jobson COVID-19 Performance Tracker