COVID-19 and the Dry Eye Shop... FAQ

Posted by Rebecca Petris on

Updated March 17, 2020

Q: Where can I get facts and updates about COVID-19?

Answer:

Q: Is there any impact on day-to-day Dry Eye Shop operations?

Answer: Yes, but not bad.

  • Demand is high, so we're scrambling.
  • We are running through product much faster, so some items are occasionally going on a temporary backorder. In almost all cases, that is between 1 and 5 days.
  • We are looking at shortening customer service hours and preparing staff for a work-from-home situation.

Q: Should I stock up on my eye care products?

Answer: No. At least, try not to overdo it.

There are no supply chain problems at this time. We encourage you not to over-purchase. As with toilet paper, hand sanitizer and masks, stockpiling dry eye or scleral lens care products can create temporary shortages that cause hardships for others.

On the other hand, a lot of us have PTSD from past product shortages! So it is completely understandable that you want to make sure you don't run out. We get that and are not trying to guilt you, honest.

Q: Are there any product shortages?

Answer: No - nothing new.

We are not currently experiencing any dry eye or scleral lens product shortages specifically related to the coronavirus crisis. We are speaking at least once a week to all our suppliers to make sure we keep abreast of the latest news. 

On the other hand, we are experiencing temporary shortages of handsoaps and alcohol preps. So far, all of our suppliers seem able to get more quickly, though.

Q: So why are you backordered on _______?

Answer: Um, because so many people are stockpiling. But don't worry - more is on the way.

If a product is listed as out of stock on our site, we have more on the way unless we specifically indicate otherwise on that product's page. You can always call, email or text us for more information. Email is appreciated, though, as we're pretty busy right now. 

We're doing our best to keep well ahead of demand, but it's not always possible to predict spikes in purchasing. 

The two products that people seem most concerned about are Refresh PM ointment and Purilens Plus saline. Don't worry... there is plenty more to be had!

Q: Where is the Dry Eye Shop located?

Answer: Washington.

We are in Poulsbo, Washington, which is on the Kitsap Peninsula west of Seattle. Are you curious where that is in relation to Kirkland, where the first major US outbreak occurred? It's only 32.4 miles as the crow flies, but there are a few bodies of water between us - involving a bridge, a 30 minute ferry ride, and another bridge, and plenty of driving on both ends and in between. 

March 8 marked the first confirmed case here in Kitsap County. As of March 15, we have 5. Click here for current information.

Q: What steps is the Dry Eye Shop taking - or planning?

Answer: What everyone else is doing.

  • We are following all of our state's recommendations regarding hand washing and frequency of disinfecting surfaces, shared equipment, etc.  We have posted notices to remind ourselves (although honestly, our premises are so small all I really have to do is holler).
  • Individually, we're following social distancing recommendations. 
  • We are "monitoring the situation closely" and will respond to new requirements as they come up.

Q: Is it safe to order my supplies through the mail?

Answer: Yes, they all seem to be saying so.

Some people have read that coronavirus can live on some surfaces and are wondering whether they should be worried about supplies being delivered to them. 

Health authorities seem pretty clear about this not being a cause for concern. Examples:

WHO: The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low. 

CDC: In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods. Information will be provided on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website as it becomes available.

Q: Is there any chance of the Dry Eye Shop shutting down?

Answer: Over my... you know.

It's extremely unlikely. 

As long as the post office is working, we're working.

If I needed to send the staff home, I'll take over processing and packing up orders while staff do everything they can from home.

We'll all get through this! Meantime, we're here for you. In the coming weeks, I will not be personally as available by phone as I have been in the past, but know that I'm here thinking and caring about you all!

- Rebecca


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