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Coronavirus Updates

In early March, the American Academy of Ophthalmology released guidelines related to coronavirus and eye safety, including a recommendation for those who wear contact lenses to consider switching to glasses during the pandemic.

However, according to a new study published in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye, there is no evidence to suggest that individuals increase their risk of contracting COVID-19 by wearing contacts as opposed to glasses.

In the original guidelines from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, they acknowledged the lack of evidence on the subject, but emphasized that contact lens wearers may touch their eyes more than the average person. Because coronavirus can likely spread through the eyes — via touch or infected respiratory particles in the air — more frequent touching of the eyes could increase the risk of infection. The guidelines also suggested that glasses might add a layer of protection for the wearer by shielding the eyes from virus particles in the air.

Instead of avoiding contact lenses entirely, the authors of this new study in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye advise people who wear contacts to focus on good hygiene habits such as regular hand-washing.

According to a press release about the study, the takeaways are:

  • Individuals can continue wearing contact lenses
  • Good hygiene habits are key
  • Regular eyeglasses and spectacles do not protect against the virus
  • Unwashed hands should stay away from the face
  • Temporarily stop wearing contact lenses if you are sick

Similarly, on April 8th, the CDC released guidance on coronavirus and contact lenses that did not recommend contact wearers to switch to glasses.

Read more about the study.

UPDATE 1/26/21: Since our HD Live! interview with CEO Andrei Doroshin, the Philadelphia Health Department has severed its ties with the organization. The nonprofit has changed its status to a for-profit entity.

Watch our latest HD Live! as we take a look at Philly Fighting Covid, a nonprofit organization run by graduate students from Drexel University that aims to help with mass COVID-19 vaccination in Philadelphia.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Andrei Doroshin, founder of Philly Fighting Covid.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

HD Live! Videos

Watch our latest HD Live! as we take a deep dive into the vaccine rollout across the country.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and a member of the Biden COVID-19 Advisory Board.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! is a conference wrap-up of the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2020.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, American Heart Association President-Elect, for a summary of the highlights of the AHA Scientific Sessions 2020.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! discussion is on how healthcare in America could be impacted by a Trump or Biden victory.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Marianne Udow-Phillips, director of the Center for Health and Research Transformation at the University of Michigan, and Brian Blase, who served as a healthcare adviser to President Trump from 2017-2019 and is now president and CEO of Blase Policy Strategies.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! discussion is an overview of IDWeek, the annual meeting of leading infectious disease experts worldwide.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Inger Damon and Dr. Tom Talbot, IDWeek Chairs, for a summary of the latest data on a range of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! discussion is an overview of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) national conference and exhibition.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with AAP's Dr. Elizabeth Murray on the key takeaways of the event.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! discussion is on what could happen this flu season as COVID-19 still rages on across the country. How can we protect ourselves, and what can we and the health care system do to prepare for and potentially prevent a twindemic?

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Nadia Eltaki, director of clinical operations at Sibley Memorial Hospital, on guidance on how to protect yourself and how a twindemic could impact the health care system.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! discussion is on loneliness and social isolation and how they can affect mental health. Plus, learn more about the survey we conducted with The Harris Poll on Americans and their use and knowledge of face masks and COVID-19.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Carla Perissinotto, a geriatrician and the associate chief for geriatrics clinical programs at UCSF, on advice on how to better care for seniors who might be more vulnerable to social isolation, and Kathy Steinberg, vice president of public release research at The Harris Poll, on the results of the HealthDay/The Harris Poll survey.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! discussion is on the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine and how the United States would need to prepare for a mass vaccination program.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Amesh Adalja from the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University and Dr. Kelly Moore from Vanderbilt School of Medicine and associate director for immunization education with the Immunization Action Coalition.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.