Institute remained lifeline for eye care patients

during pandemic shutdown.

Visual Reminders are everywhere as you walk into the Dean McGee Eye Institute on the University of Oklahoma (OU) Health Sciences campus amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Please Practice Social Distancing,” the small red signs respectfully ask.

Affixed on the floor every six feet throughout the entryway leading into the building, the reminders urge visitors to keep six feet distance between other people.

When it became clear in late March that most activities at the Health Sciences Center would be dramatically reduced by the pandemic, officials at the Dean McGee Eye Institute, which also houses the OU Department of Ophthalmology, reduced clinical, surgical and research activities, and implemented measures designed to protect both patients and the staff.

Today, signage reminds visitors to maintain six feet of space between other individuals. No more than three to four people are allowed on elevators. Water fountains are shut down. More than half of the chairs in waiting areas were removed. Protective “breath shields” were added to equipment that physicians use in eye exams with patients.

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