April 2, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

As always, we are working to keep everyone up to date on the latest news and resources ophthalmologists need to make it through this crisis. See below for information and resources we've collected from our affiliates and partners.

Check the AAO and MedChi websites for the most current information. For archived versions of these updates visit the MSEPS website.

Stay Safe & Healthy
Renee Bovelle, MD
MSEPS President

AMA Livestream Discussion - "Prioritizing Equity: The Experience of Physicians of Color and COVID-19" - Tonight, Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 7:00 pm

CMS Lessons from the Front Lines - Friday, April 3, 2020 at 12:30-2:00 pm

DMV Ophthalmology COVID Town Hall Meeting hosted by Retina Group of Washington - Monday, April 6, 2020 at 7:00 pm
Two published reports and a more recent news article suggest the virus can cause conjunctivitis. Thus, it is possible that SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted by aerosol contact with the conjunctiva

·         In a  Journal of Medical Virology study  of 30 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in China, 1 had conjunctivitis. That patient had SARS-CoV-2 in their ocular secretions, which suggests that SARS-CoV-2 can infect the conjunctiva and cause conjunctivitis.
·         In a larger study  published in the New England Journal of Medicine , researchers documented "conjunctival congestion" in 9 of 1,099 patients (0.8%) with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 from 30 hospitals across China.
·         In a  story just out from CNN , a registered nurse in a nursing home reported that red eye was a common early sign in elderly patients who then became sick with COVID-19.  Read More Now
·         Several reports suggest the virus can cause a mild follicular conjunctivitis otherwise indistinguishable from other viral causes, and possibly be transmitted by aerosol contact with conjunctiva.
·         Patients who present to ophthalmologists for conjunctivitis who also have fever and respiratory symptoms could represent cases of COVID-19.
·         The virus that causes COVID-19 is very likely susceptible to the same alcohol- and bleach-based disinfectants that ophthalmologists commonly use to disinfect ophthalmic instruments and office furniture.    Read More Now

The AAO has provided a resource for patients. "You may find it challenging to schedule face-to-face appointments with your eye care provider during the coronavirus pandemic. Here's how to stay healthy and protect your eyes while hunkering down at home."

Telehealth Resources

Backline from Dr. First is a Telehealth platform used by MedChi's CTO and can be used by any physician.

Financial Resources

Resources to Help Your Small Business Survive the Coronavirus 

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund
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