COVID-19 Implications



In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the lives of millions, including individuals and businesses in the vision care industry. The following information has been collected to help guide members as we emerge from the pandemic.

For information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the evolving pandemic, click here.

Guidance for Eyecare Providers and Optical Retailers

The Vision Council worked closely with a taskforce of vision care industry leaders to launch, a digital platform designed to help eyecare providers navigate the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on their businesses. The website is intended to serve as a comprehensive resource to help eyecare providers navigate the complex journey from shutdown back to ‘new normal’ business conditions with practical insights and a collection of best practices, protocols, tools and tips for reopening a practice and maintaining its health until conditions improve.

Resources available on include interactive cashflow calculators, guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) process, downloadable patient marketing materials and tips on acquiring personal protective equipment (PPE).

The Vision Council's Sanitization Operating Assumptions

At the request of members as well as the industry at large, The Vision Council has created a compilation of information regarding best sanitization methods for products and packages.

U.S. Legislative Response to COVID-19

Throughout the pandemic, U.S. lawmakers have worked to provide emergency relief for individuals, families and businesses. The Vision Council has created a general analysis outlining all phases of the U.S. legislative response to COVID-19.

Shipping & Manufacturing

Members should continue to expect delays in shipping as well as production and should contact their manufacturers, suppliers and freight forwarders to determine the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their individual businesses. All freight modes continue to be impacted by the pandemic, particularly air freight due to dramatically rising rates caused by reduced capacity brought on by airlines' grounding flights. Courier services, such as FedEx, UPS and DHL, continue to experience route suspensions and other delays. Bottlenecks at ocean ports is also growing, as importers delay picking up cargo intended for still-closed retailers.

Travel Restrictions

The CDC regularly issues updates regarding international and domestic travel. The latest recommendations can be found here.

Optical Market Research

The Vision Council's market research team tracked the evolving eyewear and eyecare behavior of American consumers as well as members and eyecare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19-related reports can be found here.

Projects included:

  • COVID-19 Optical Impact Study: Launched in February 2020 as part of The Vision Council’s monthly VisionWatch consumer survey, the study is designed to measure respondents’ level of concern over exposure to COVID-19 and tracks trends related to their interactions with eyecare providers, eye exam intent and eyewear purchases.
  • COVID-19 Eyecare Provider Study:  Through a weekly survey fielded to eyecare providers, the study explored the impact of tightening restrictions, evolving consumer sentiment and government guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The study aimed to gain a broad understanding of how the market was reacting to the pandemic.



The information in The Vision Council's COVID -19 Implications update is derived from selected government and public sources. The Vision Council believes that the information comes from reliable sources, but does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness, which may be subject to change without notice.