News & In(sights)

5.06.20 COVID-19 Update – Office to Reopen Monday, May 11th!

We trust you all have remained safe and healthy during this unprecedented time.

We are very excited to be officially reopening for routine eye care services on Monday, May 11th.

While we have continued to offer urgent care and curbside service for contact lens and glasses pickup, we have also been very busy renovating our office in anticipation of welcoming you all back. We are excited to show off our new surroundings, but we also want to make you aware of other changes you will be noticing both before and during your next visit.

The safety of our patients and staff is our number one concern, and we’re taking every precaution to ensure our office environment remains as safe as possible. Following the recommendations made by the Minnesota Optometric Association, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there will be a number of requirements that most of you may have already seen with visits to other businesses and services.

  • Our office will communicate with you the day before your appointment to take as much history (reason for visit, etc.) as possible to reduce your time in the office during your exam.
  • We will be asking you a set of screening questions. You may be asked those questions again when you are at the office. Our team members will be asked the same screening questions daily before coming in to work.
  • We are requiring that every patient entering our office wear a face mask or face cover during the duration of their visit. This practice is very important due to the close contact required to conduct an eye examination and fit glasses. To preserve the limited number of masks that we have, please plan to provide your own; however, if you do not have a mask, one can be provided.
  • Only scheduled patients will be allowed into the office unless they require assistance from a parent/guardian or caregiver. We ask that additional family members who do not have an appointment either stay at home or in the car if possible.
  • We will be greeting you at a table outside of our main doors to help manage patient flow in and out of the office. Your temperature will be taken and recorded in your records. If you have a temperature higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, you will be asked to reschedule.
  • After arrival and screening, you may be asked to temporarily wait in your vehicle and we will notify you via text message or phone call when we are ready to receive you.
  • You will be asked to wash your hands when entering the office. There will also be hand sanitizer available throughout our facility.
  • For the time being, we will not be offering books or magazines in the reception area or examination rooms as they are difficult items to clean and disinfect.
  • We will be managing appointments to allow for social distancing between patients. This could mean there are fewer options available for scheduling. We will be allowing greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the building at any one time.
  • If you have ordered glasses, you will be contacted once they are ready to schedule an appointment to pick them up.
  • If you are shopping for glasses, we ask that you wait until an associate can assist you with frames. This will help control the sanitation of frames.
  • We have added extra cleaning and disinfecting practices that will be continually performed in common areas in the office. All frames that are touched will be disinfected before being put back on the display boards.
  • Our office hours will be changed slightly during this transition time. We will be open 8 to 5 M-F.

We look forward to seeing all of you back as soon as possible. Please be aware that initially there may be a higher volume of patient inquiries by phone, and we will return calls as soon as we can.

Thank you for being our patient!! We truly value the trust and confidence you have in us and appreciate your patience as we adjust to a new way of serving you. We’ve missed you and look forward to welcoming you all back!

4.09.20 COVID-19 Office Closure Update – April 9th, 2020

COVID-19 Office Closure Update – April 9th, 2020

As you are all aware, yesterday, April 8th, Governor Walz extended Minnesota’s Stay At Home order until May 4th.

With respect to that order as well as the standing recommendations of the CDC and Minnesota Department Health, we will remain closed to all routine eye care services until May 4th.

While we all want to get back to work for you and return to some semblance of what our “normal” used to be, it remains in the best interest of our patients and staff that we maintain social distancing practices. Given that we work in very close quarters during eye examinations, maintaining social distancing is impossible.

Although our doors are closed, WE ARE STILL HERE FOR YOU! The care of your eyes and vision is essential and we remain available to address any urgent or emergent eye care needs that arise. In some cases, care for urgent concerns can be provided using telemedicine technology. Please help reduce the current burdens already placed on hospital emergency departments and CONTACT US at 507-645-9202. Our on-call doctor is available to discuss your concerns and address urgent needs 24/7.

From 9 AM to 5 PM, we will be closely monitoring our phones for voice messages and will attempt to return all messages as soon as possible. We will also be available via text at 507-645-9202 or email at We appreciate your patience as we are operating with very limited staff. After 5 PM, please call our office and listen to our voicemail for instructions on how to contact our doctor on-call.

On a case by case basis, we will process contact lens orders for current patients with expired prescriptions. If you are in need of contact lenses, text or call the office at 507-645-9202 and we will assist you.

If you have ordered glasses that are ready for pick-up we can arrange a pick-up by appointment. Free shipping is also available.

If you are running out of a medication please contact us and we will refill as appropriate.

During this unusual time, the preferred method of communication will be via text message to 507-645-9202 or via email to as we are operating with very limited staff.

For those patients scheduled for non-urgent care from now until May 4th, we will be contacting you to reschedule your appointments to a later date.

We hope to re-open again on May 4th, 2020, but will continue to monitor ongoing recommendations from the CDC, Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Optometric Association and update you with any changes that occur.

Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding as we all continue to work through this uncertain time together. We WILL be here for you if you need us and look forward to the day when a virtual hello become a handshake again.

Stay well,

Nathan Heilman, OD

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