NEW YORK—National optical sales were flat for most service/product categories over the course of last week (March 22-28) when compared with the previous week (March 15-21), except exams/refractions and contact lenses, both of which showed declines, according to Jobson’s Practice Performance Tracker. Exams/refractions were down 1 index point, while contact lenses were down 3 index points. These minor changes in optical sales occurred while COVID-19 cases are on the rise again throughout the country, with a 7 percent increase from the previous week, according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker

While most service/product categories were either flat or down in most regions over the course of last week, the Midwest was the one bright spot. All categories in the Midwest (except contact lenses) showed increasing optical sales ranging from 1 index point for exams/refractions to 3 index points for frame units and lens pairs. Contact lenses, however, were down in the Midwest.

Contact lens sales declined in all regions, but all at rates smaller than the -4 index points in the Midwest. In fact, this -4 point decline was the largest decrease, with all other declining sales shrinking at smaller rates. All of this occurred while about half the states in the country are reporting at least a 10 percent increase of new cases compared to the previous week, according to 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