RESPONSE TO COVID-19

RESPONSE TO COVID-19

  ** ALL 20 hours of CE required for renewal 2020 may be non face-to-face/correspondence**

                                 MISSISSIPPI STATE BOARD OF OPTOMETRY

On April 10, 2020, Governor Tate Reeves signed Executive Order 1470 which provided, in relevant part, that all health professionals and all licensed health care facilities were to postpone all surgeries and procedures that were not immediately medically necessary from 5:00 p.m. April 10, 2020 through 11:59 p.m. April 27, 2020.  The Mississippi State Board of Optometry, during a special telephonic called meeting held on April 17, 2020 discussed practitioners resuming normal practice at 8:00 a.m., April 28, 2020 unless the Governor extends Executive Order 1470.  In the event optometrists choose to resume their normal optometric practice, inclusive of normally performed services, they must adhere to protocol advisories from the Mississippi Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and any other state or local ordinances which are in effect.

Additionally, the Board voted to modify Rule 4.1 (a) & (b) and allow for all twenty (20)  hours of correspondence/non face-to-face continuing education for this calendar year only, hours in a classroom/face-to-face setting. Each Optometrist licensed shall take 20 hours of continuing education.

All 20 hours may be correspondence/non face-to-face and must be either:

*approved by the Counsel on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE),

*taken at a National, Regional, or State Conference or

*taken at a school of optometry/teaching institution.

 

 

 

AMENDED PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS, on March 18, 2020, the Mississippi State Board of Optometry issued a proclamation announcing that it would comply with Governor Tate Reeves’ Proclamation and take those steps necessary to address access to needed optometric service/care for people in the State of Mississippi during this time of emergency; and

WHEREAS, the Mississippi State Board of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) still identify the potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 both globally and in the United States as “very high”, and has advised that person-to-person spread of COVID-19 will continue to occur globally, including within the US; and

WHEREAS, the Mississippi State Board of Optometry recognizing that the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve and is still communicating regularly with government officials to monitor developments of the outbreak recommend to optometrists that they abide by the Mississippi Department of Health and State Health Officer Advisories recommending to defer elective procedures and postpone all routine eye exams–a routine eye exam visit is defined by the doctor as it pertains to the patient’s symptoms, diagnosis and treatment; and

NOW THEREFORE, from the date of this amended proclamation it is recommended that optometrists delay referrals for elective procedures and postpone all routine eye exams until action taken by the Governor of the State of Mississippi lifts the Emergency.

FURTHER, the Executive Director shall provide notice to all licensees at such time as the Governor’s Proclamation relating to the Emergency has been lifted by posting this information on the website.

FURTHER, except as amended herein, the Proclamation of the Board issued on March 18, 2020 shall remain in full force and effect.

SO ORDERED AND APPROVED by the Mississippi State Board of Optometry, this the

11th day of August, 2020.

MISSISSIPPI STATE BOARD OF OPTOMETRY

____________________________________________                                                                               Beverly Limbaugh, Executive Director

 


PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS, by Proclamation dated March 14, 2020, issued by Tate Reeves, Governor of the state of Mississippi, a state of emergency was declared pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. Section 33-15-11, in order to address the high risk of an outbreak of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19, in the State of Mississippi; and

WHEREAS, the Proclamation invoked the emergency powers of the Governor pursuant to Miss .Code Ann. Section 33-15-11 (c ) (1) to temporarily suspend or modify any rule or regulation of a state agency which would in any way prevent, hinder or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency; and

WHEREAS, the Mississippi State Board of Optometry, as an agency of the state of Mississippi, wishes to comply with the Governor’s proclamation and take those steps necessary to address access to needed optometric services/care to people in the state of Mississippi during this time of emergency; and

WHEREAS, the Mississippi State Board of Optometry recognizing that the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve and is communicating regularly with government officials to monitor developments of the outbreak recommend to optometrists that they delay referrals for elective surgical procedures and postpone all routine eye exams, for a two-week period—a routine eye exam visit may be defined by the doctor as it pertains to the patient’s symptoms, diagnosis and treatment; and

NOW, THEREFORE, until action is taken by the Governor of the State of Mississippi to lift the declared emergency, the Mississippi State Board of Optometry authorizes all optometrists to utilize telehealth to avoid unnecessary patient travel both in-state and out of state; the Board will not enforce any statute, rule or regulation against the optometrists who chooses to do so; the recommended guidelines for such telehealth can be found in the Notification of Enforcement discretion for telehealth remote communications during the COVID 19 nationwide public health posted on msbo.gov.

FURTHER, except as specifically stated herein, all other regulations remain in full force and effect.

SO ORDERED AND APPROVED by the Mississippi State Board of Optometry, this the

18th day of March 2020.

MISSISSIPPI STATE BOARD OF OPTOMETRY

Beverly Limbaugh, Executive Director

Proclamation (pdf)


Telehealth Guidelines

Telehealth Services HHS Guidelines (pdf)

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